News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
1 minute read
18 Sep 2018
6:40 am

Meyerspark businessperson Lotz’s alleged killers plead not guilty

Ilse de Lange

Lotz’s family reported him missing after he told his wife Truida that he was going to the shops but never returned.

Image: iStock

A Pretoria prison warder and his friend who are accused of strangling and suffocating a Pretoria businessperson before burying him in a shallow grave have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and robbery.

This happened near Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga.

Ben Leola, 26, and prison warder Clarence Mcunu, 24, yesterday denied in the High Court in Pretoria that they had in December 2014 murdered Meyerspark businessperson Frans Lotz, 60, and robbed him of his bakkie.

Lotz’s family reported him missing after he told his wife Truida that he was going to the shops but never returned.

His body was found in a shallow grave in the veld near Bushbuckridge six days later after one of the accused allegedly pointed out the spot to police. He was last seen during a visit to the singles quarters at the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria.

The state alleges Lotz was in the company of the two accused and another man – Ten Madoda – on that fateful day and was at Mcunu’s flat when he was overpowered.

The accused allegedly put his body in the back of his bakkie and then drove to Mpumalanga where they buried him in the veld.

An autopsy report stated that Lotz had died of strangulation with hypoxia. The state said it was not clear if he was still alive or not when he was pushed into the hole.

A statement by Leola in which he admitted helping to bury the body but put the blame for the murder on Mcunu and Madoda was handed in as evidence.

The trial continues.

ilsedl@citizen.co.za

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