A man arrested in connection with the murder of two businessmen who died after he set their house on fire appeared in the Northam Magistrate’s Court, Limpopo, on Monday.
Sulaiman Kamya, 24, who is also a businessman, faces two counts of murder, arson, theft of a motor vehicle and theft.
Kamya and both the deceased, Joshua Mutaasa, 33, and Rita Okelo, 30, are all Ugandan nationals.
It is alleged that on Friday, January 4, 2018, Kamya locked the two deceased in a house before setting it alight using petrol at Wildebeeste Laagte Farm just outside the small farming town of Northam.
According to provincial police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, he then took the vehicle and cellphones of the deceased and fled the scene.
“They (police) reacted swiftly and on arrival they found the entire building already engulfed in flames. The police, with other role players, tried to extinguish the blaze but with no success.”
“Further attempts were made to rescue the people inside until they managed to gain entry by breaking the windows as all doors were locked. Subsequently, two people were found lying dead on the floor with serious burn wounds throughout their bodies,” Ngoepe said.
‘Business deal’ gone wrong
Preliminary investigations revealed the identity of the suspect and police launched a manhunt whose trail led them to Rustenburg in the North West where Kamya was arrested with assistance from the local public order police unit.
The stolen vehicle was recovered at a chop shop in Rustenburg.
Kamya himself was found allegedly still in possession of the stolen cellphones and house keys.
Though speculation was rife that the motive behind the horrific incident was a “business deal” that went sour, Ngoepe said police investigations are yet to determine whether that is the case or not.
“The motive behind this incident is still not clear at this stage but ongoing police investigations will tell,” he said.
Kamya is expected to appear in court again on January 14, 2018, for a formal bail application.