Pretoria – The Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service Lieutenant General Kgomotso Phahlane has praised the multi-disciplinary task team led by the Hawks which moved swiftly to arrest two people suspected of brutally killing eight family members in Msinsini village, just outside Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal just after midnight on Wednesday.

Seven family members were asleep in one house and another in the adjacent hut when a group of men allegedly entered their yard. The suspects hacked the seven victims to death with sharp objects inside the house and proceeded to the hut where they brutally murdered a 70 year old man and set the hut alight.  The victims, four females aged between 15 and 60 years, three toddlers aged between 1 and 3 years as well as the 70 year old man who was found burnt beyond recognition died at the scene.  One survivor was taken to hospital with severe head injuries.

The suspects allegedly accused the family members of practising witchcraft. The arrested suspects were found in possession of blood-stained clothes and shoes. A jacket, which was worn by one of the suspects, was found shoved inside a pit toilet. Suspects, aged 26 and 28, will appear before the Turton Magistrate’s Court on Friday, facing charges of murder.

Lt Gen Phahlane wished the survivor speedy recovery and vowed that the police will not rest until all suspects are brought to book. “We convey our deepest condolences to the bereaved family and also assure them that we will dig deep in our quest to bring justice. We thank the Hawks, our K9 unit, the Forensic team as well as the local police for gathering all the evidence which led to the arrest of the suspects”, said Lt Gen Phahlane.