Deacon murders: Gruesome details revealed in Limpopo court

An accused turned state witness revealed how a mother and daughter were murdered before their bodies were loaded into their vehicle.

Deacon women murdered
 Hettie and Lizette Deacon. Photo: Supplied.

Some gruesome details surrounding the murder of Lizette and Hettie Deacon were revealed in the Limpopo High Court: Polokwane Division yesterday where a state witness says the initial plan was only to rob the women.

One of the accused, Lazarus Mahlo, made a plea agreement with the state. As a result, Mahlo was sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment as he pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances, as well as two counts of murder.

He will turn state witness and testify against Sophie Mmako and Casper Mudau when they return to the high court from January 16 – 27, 2023.

Mahlo revealed that on the day of the murder Mmako, who is considered the mastermind of the murders, did ‘not want anyone to get hurt’.

“In his plea agreement, the accused stated that on September 10, 2020, he entered the Deacon’s house. He said Mmako (accused one) complained that the Deacons did not pay her accordingly,” NPA Limpopo spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi says.

The plan was reportedly to only rob the women. Mahlo admitted that he asked Owen, who is still sought, to assist with the robbery.

“Mahlo, Owen and Mudau (accused four) went to the ladies’ house in Welgelegen and upon arrival, Mmako provided them with knives as well as showed them a spot where they can hide inside the house,” Malabi-Dzhangi says.

When the Deacons arrived at their home, they were instructed to lie down by the accused.

“In the process, Owen stabbed Lizette multiple times and then strangled Hettie with a rope. The three then loaded the deceased into their motor vehicle and robbed them of R200 and bottles of whiskey,” she says.

Mahlo admitted that he drove the deceased’s car to Mankweng to drop off the bottles of whiskey at his house.

“He then proceeded to Chuenespoort, where they were chased by the police and fled the area. In his plea, Mahlo said after his arrest he co-operated with the police and confessed immediately as he realised what he did was very wrong and wanted the family to find closure,” Malabi-Dzhangi says.

Advocate Kobus Jacobs, in aggravation of sentence, said the women’s deaths could have been avoided and the deceased’s family lost a mother, wife, daughter, grandmother and members of their family who played a very important role in their lives.

He added the offences emanated from greed.

Mmako is still out on bail while Mudau will remain in custody. There is a R250 000 reward for information that will lead to Owen’s arrest.

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