Police launch manhunt for family massacre suspect

2010-12-15 00:00

POLICE have launched a manhunt for the suspect in a family massacre that left eight people dead in Mariannhill outside Durban on Sunday night.

Acting KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo announced yesterday in Durban that a suspect’s name has been linked to the mass murder.

“The name appears in statements collected from community members and neighbours of the [massacred] family. It also appears on the preliminary police investigation. When police got the name from the community members they already had the same name,” said department spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane.

However, Ncalane said the department would not release the suspect’s name to the media so that members of the public can help police in the arrest.

“We will first find out if the person is willing to co-operate with the police before we decide whether to release his name,” he said.

Among the victims of the Mpola area murder were fire children, including a nine-month-old baby.

It is believed that they were shot before they were set alight while locked inside their two-room house.

The victims were Andiswa (nine months), Owami (five), Sphesihle (seven), Njabulo (10) and their parents Sindi Khumalo (27) and Xolani Ngcobo (28). The children’s grandparents Coshela (48) and Ntombenhle (58) Mabhida also died in the house.

A survivor, Nelisiwe Khumalo, escaped death after her boyfriend insis­ted they spend the night together.

Ngcobo was visiting Sindi when the attack took place.

A Durban evening newspaper has revealed that, prior to the attack, Ntombenhle told the neighbours that she had received death threats.

She said one of the neighbours had accused her of practising witchcraft.

“The prospects of getting to the bottom of the case depends on the information from the community members.

“With the information we have so far we are hoping that the arrest will be made in no time,” said Ncalane.

Ncalane echoed a police officer’s statements at the scene of the murder on Monday, who insisted that police had already gathered information to help them to make the arrest.

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