Alleged mastermind behind murder of Ocean Basket owner and her mother released on R1k bail

The alleged mastermind in the murder of a prominent Polokwane businesswoman and her elderly mother in 2020 has been released on bail.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed the information of Sohpie Mmako’s bail release to Polokwane Review on Wednesday.

She was arrested along with Lazarus Mahlo, Advance Amid and Casper Mudua for the murder of Lizette Deacon and her mother Hettie in September 2020.

'Mastermind' behind Ocean Basket owner, mother murder released on R1k bail
Sophie Mmako and her co-accused. Photo: Polokwane Review

The bodies of the women were found stabbed and bound along the R37 highway inside Lizette’s abandoned vehicle on 10 September 2020.

It later emerged Lizette and Hettie were attacked in their townhouse in Welgelegen, after blood was found in one of the rooms in the home.

An investigation revealed the women were abducted and murdered.

Lizette owned Ocean Basket restaurants in Savannah Mall and the Mall of the North.

Mystery bail

Beeld reported on Thursday that Mmako orchestrated the murders after not being paid during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mmako told investigating officer Joseph Malabane she provided the knives the Deacons were stabbed with, and left a gate open for the three men to enter the townhouse premises.

Her contentious R1 000 bail release was reportedly allowed without police knowledge, a source told the newspaper.

This after Mmako was seen by community members in the region’s city centre earlier this week, Beeld reported.

Mojapelo told Polokwane Review he did not have further information on the release of Mmako, as it took place in the magistrate’s chambers, and not in court.

Mmako had previously been denied bail by Judge Janine Ungerer. Amid and Mahlo abandoned their bail applciations early on in the case.

The last court appearance by Mmako and her co-accused was in Polokwane Magistrate’s Court in March 2021. Each faced two counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and kidnapping.

The magistrate cited public outcry as one of the reasons why the suspects were denied bail.

Edited by Nica Richards.

This article first appeared on Caxton publication Review Online, by Umpha Manenzhe. Read the original article here.

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