EIGHT members of the Sibiya family were brutally and inexplicably killed last Tuesday night as they lay sleeping in their homes in Embangweni in the Matimatolo area by an unknown gang of gunmen. Sisters, 58-year-old Nanazi and 61-year-old Sindisiwe, who lived in separate houses about 100m apart, and six of their grandchildren, Sdudla, Olwethu, Thembeka, Londeka, Ziyanda and Lindo were murdered.A two year old is still fighting for her life in hospital and one young boy, who managed to escape, is being protected in a place of safety.The gang broke into Sindisiwe’s house first and cold bloodedly shot her and the four grandchildren with her – then set fire to the building. The attackers then quickly moved across to Nanazi’s house, and shot her and the three youngsters in the house. Again these killers set fire to the building and disappeared into the nightShocked, horrified and angry community members said the shots were heard round about 9pm and they then saw the houses engulfed in flames. They managed to rescue the three children who were taken to hospital where, sadly, two died and the third, a two year old is in a critical condition.Mystery surrounds these killings. Family and community members have stated that the suggestion that witchcraft was the motive was unlikely as the two sisters were not known to be involved in such. Family member Fanozi Shaik, dismissed such rumours as untrue saying he had never heard anything negative about his sisters.Ward Councillor Musa Zondi expressed his horror at the tragedy and denied there had been allegations of witchcraft.A police spokesman said that the investigations was looking into the possibility of a family feud motive.Umvoti Municipal Mayor Thami Ngubane and officials visited the bereaved family and community members on Wednesday to express their sympathy and offer assistance for wherever they needed. The MEC for Transport Mxolisi Kaunda expressed his horror at the killings at the scene of the tragedy on Wednesday morning and said the police would not rest until the suspects are found and asked the community to allow the police to do their job. Acting police commissioner Major General Bheki Langa said “such horrendous acts showed that there are people who do not value other people’s lives”. A police task team has been appointed to investigate the killings.Umvoti Municipality has issued an appeal to community to come together to assist the Sibiya family as they prepare to bury their family. The municipality and various KZN departments is assisting with the funeral arrangements, but there are still many items needed.To check what is required, contact Umvoti Municipality officials Nomthadazo Xaba on 064 756 5682 or Ansuya Maharaj on 071 307 187.Groceries, household items, toiletries, and so on, can also be dropped off at the Greytown Gazette offices for delivery to the family.At the time of going to press, funeral arrangements had not yet been announced.