Pietermaritzburg – Two suspects linked to the fatal shooting of 10 members of the same family at their homestead in the early hours of Friday have been arrested.
In the early hours of Friday, (21 April 2023), armed men entered a house located in Imbali township in Pietermaritzburg.
The armed assailants went from one room to another shooting the occupants as they lay asleep.
Neighbours awoken by the gunfire called the police.
Police said during the violent ambush, seven females and three males were shot dead, the youngest of the victims was a 13-year-old boy.
The motive for the shootings remains unknown.
Hours later, with the help of the community, police were able to locate four suspects less than 2 km away from the crime scene.
A shootout ensued when police confronted the suspects who were participating in a “cleansing ceremony” conducted by a traditional healer.
Such ceremonies are performed for people involved in killings.
One suspect was shot dead and two others were arrested, while one got away.
A wounded suspect is under police guard in hospital.
Police said three firearms were also found at the scene.
The shocking family murder prompted Police Minister General Bheki Cele and the top management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) led by National Commissioner, General Fannie Masemola to visit the area.
“The Police Ministry wishes to commend the swift work of the South African Police Service (SAPS) who have made the arrests bringing much-needed assurance and some comfort to the community that has been left shocked and traumatised by the brutal killings,” said Lirandzu Themba Police Ministry Spokesperson.
“It is on this score that the Ministry also urges more communities to work with police by coming forward with any information that can assist in apprehending individuals or gangs who are hellbent on terrorising communities through acts of criminality.”