The family of an elderly couple from Ottery have expressed their anger that the men who were arrested in connection with their murder has been released on bail. 29-year-old Gcinile Ngcobela and 20-year-old Lwazi Ntsibantsiba are accused of robbing and strangling Rugaya and Riedwaan Addinall, both 82-years-old, at their Ottery home in January this year. The pair face two counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and attempted theft charges.
Speaking to VOC on Friday, son Anwar Addinall said the news of their bail was “unexpected” and follows a protracted bail hearing. They have been held in custody for the past five months and were released on a mere R800 bail.
“There’s always this talk of human rights, but from the victim’s side, you also ask what about the rights of the victim and their family? I was told they were released on R800 bail. I was taken aback because it’s not like a cellphone was stolen…it’s not a petty crime. It was two elderly people callously murdered!” he said.
“The punishment should fit the crime. Just knowing that they could be walking amongst us and we wouldn’t even know. This really disturbs me.”
He added that there was nothing much they could do except “wait for the law to run its course”.
Ngcobela was a gardener for the couple and had worked for the family for years. During their first court appearance earlier this year, the prosecutor revealed that the two men had strangled both deceased and fed them rat poison. Both accused were seen on footage entering the premises and then entering the house.
According to the prosecutor, the accused were seen attempting to steal a vehicle and a microwave, however, the vehicle had no battery. Prosecutor Nicky Konisi said the two had been found in possession of the deceased’s property and the rat poison. She said Ngcobela’s fingerprints were found on the couple’s vehicle and microwave. It was later found that Ngcobela had a pending murder case in Nyanga dating back to 2016.
Addinall said he was disappointed that since the murder, there’s been very little media coverage on the story. While trauma counselling was provided to the family, he said they are still dealing with severe stress, especially his two sons, who discovered their grandparents’ bodies in their home.
“Ultimately, your strength comes from Allah SWT. So you have to hold onto that, make thikr and dua that Allah will grant you the stress to get through it. So that’s what I’m focusing on right now.”
The suspects will appear in court on the 20th June. The National Prosecuting Authority was unavailable for comment.