Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma urged law enforcement agencies to work around the clock in ensuring that those responsible for “the ruthless killing” of six girls and two women in Embangweni Village, near Greytown in KZN, are brought to book.
Zuma on Thursday evening condemned the killing of the women who were all members of the same family. The incident occurred on Tuesday night at 21:00.
“Such outrageous and inhuman action against defenceless women is a gross violation of the right to human life as enshrined in the Constitution. I am deeply dismayed by this heartless and inexplicable cruelty”, Zuma said in a statement.
Zuma extended his condolences to the families and relatives of the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
Five people, including a 60-year-old woman and four girls between the ages of two and 16, were killed in one house.
Another victim, a 58-year-old woman, was found in a second house. She died after being shot.
Two of the girls in that house later died in hospital. The house had also been set alight, according to KZN police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala.
Gwala had said the motive for the attack was unknown. She said police would investigate whether it was politically motivated or as a result of family feuds.
Police had opened eight cases of murder and an attempted murder case.
"One person is still in a critical condition in hospital after sustaining burn wounds," she said.
Zuma reiterated that violence against women had been declared a priority crime by government.
“Many perpetrators are being caught and are given long jail terms because of the cooperation of the public by coming forward with information. We appeal to the community to help the police with information so that those responsible can be found and face the law," said Zuma.
He added that all forms of violence against women, children and the elderly should never be tolerated.
Zuma said those responsible must face the full might of the law.