Woman, grandson among 10 people shot dead in night of horror in Eastern Cape district

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The scene where seven people were gunned down in Qunu on Wednesday night.
The scene where seven people were gunned down in Qunu on Wednesday night.
PHOTO: Luvo Cakata/Mthatha Express
  • Two mass shootings claimed the lives of 10 people in the OR Tambo district in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday night.
  • A woman, her daughter and grandson were killed in one of the incidents.
  • Less than four hours later, gunmen entered a rondavel in Qunu, killing seven people.

A 62-year-old woman and her grandson were among the 10 people who were killed in two shootings in the OR Tambo district in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday night.

Three people were killed at a homestead in Tantseka, while seven were murdered in a rondavel in Qunu hours later.

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Police spokesperson, Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana, said gunmen killed the woman and her 13-year-old grandson at about 20:00, before proceeding to a second house at the homestead, where they shot the woman's 44-year-old daughter.

"The motive for the senseless attack is unknown at this stage," Kinana said.

Less than four hours later, gunmen entered a rondavel in Qunu and opened fire on seven people. Four men and three women, aged 32 to 46, died at the scene.

Kinana said:

The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation. As the investigation is at an early stage, it has not yet been established whether the two incidents are linked.

Eastern Cape police commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene, said a task team had been set up to track and trace the gunmen.

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane described the mass shootings as "vicious and senseless" attacks on families.

"It is heartbreaking to hear that elderly women, children and heads of households lose their lives in the most brutal way in our province," he said.

"The high rate of these incidents is indicative of a decay in moral fibre. All sectors of society should work together to fight crime and restore peace, as well promote safety and security in our communities."

He called on law enforcement agencies to "follow all leads to identify these criminals and bring them before the courts of law to face their crimes".

He said:

When gun-wielding criminals invade homes and randomly shoot at families, not only does it bring [distress] to the family, but it injects fear and anxiety in the rest of the community.

Mabuyane's comments came days after he denounced the massacre of eight people at a house party in KwaZakhele, Gqeberha.

Homeowner Vusumzi Sishuba was killed alongside Andile Sishuba, 52; Kholekile France, 54; Mbuyiseli Mboya, 64; Nomatamsanqa Mandla, 58; Liyema Poro, 20; Nandipha Koliti, 42; as well as an unidentified man. Three people were injured.

There have been four mass shootings in as many months in the area.

In November, seven family members were shot dead at a gathering where loved ones were mourning a relative. The killers barged into the home and demanded R5 000 that was paid by the burial society.

A month earlier, three men, aged 26, 31 and 41, were shot dead at a tavern while three others sustained gunshot wounds when gunmen opened fire at the establishment.

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