Another family killed for no known reason

2010-10-29 00:00

THE spate of violent crimes has left 10 rural people dead in two days in the Durban area.

Among the dead are infants aged six months and two years.

At this stage the motive for the killings is unknown, but the police are promising to work around the clock to bring the ruthless killers to book.

Yesterday morning Ellias Mngomezulu (37), his mistress Sindi Skhotha (30), his six-month-old daughter Sesethu and his brother Vasco (32) were shot dead by unknown gunmen in Itshelimnyama, Mariannhill, in the early hours of yesterday morning.

A handbag with money was stolen and was later found on the street. The money was taken.

Community member Sani Dlamini said a firearm was also found next to the bag, but police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said no gun was found.

Skhotha and her baby were found at the front door of a neighbour Victoria Latha’s house while Mngomezulu was found in his house and his brother in the outside building.

Mngomezulu’s younger brother Mandla said Ellias was a humble person who always spoke up when he didn’t like something.

“My brother was just minding his own business and he looked after his family very well. I cannot say there was a vendetta directed at him because he had no known enemies,” said Mandla.

Neighbours say they heard a commotion, but could not investigate because it was after midnight.

Latha said she heard Skhotha having an argument with a man outside her house.

She said she heard the man asking Skhotha why she had made him a fool the other day.

“I could recognise the voices, but I don’t know what the argument was about. I heard the voices of the people walking past my house and minutes later gunshots rang out.

“I remained indoors until I heard many voices and when I opened my door, Sindi and her baby were lying at my front door in a pool of blood,” said Latha.

It is a mystery how Skhotha ended up at the front door of Latha’s house.

Armed robbery and house-breakings are rife in the area. The sound of gunshots is said to be common in the area but the killing of people in this fashion is not common.

Area councillor Nkosi Dimba said the murder rate is high in the area.

He said early this year three people were murdered and thrown into the Mhlathuzane River.

“We cannot speculate as to what the motive for this killing was. We can only hope for a speedy arrest of the perpetrators and we hope that the community will work closely with the police to solve this puzzle,” he said.

A police station is about 50 km away from the area.

Colonel Naicker said the Hawks and forensic investigators were called in.

“We will maintain police visibility in the vicinity and we assure people that we will work tirelessly to bring these ruthless criminals to book,” he said.

He said police who happened to be patrolling in the area heard the gunshots, but could not pinpoint where they came from as the area is rural and is situated deep down in the valley.

On Monday, six people were shot dead including children aged two and eight in two homesteads in Shongweni near Durban.

Police national commissioner General Bheki Cele has called for high level investigations into the massacres.

“It is incomprehensible how anyone can be this callous and kill people, especially babies, in cold blood”, said Cele.

 

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