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A 25-YEAR-OLD man from Nkanini informal settlement in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, killed his wife, child, sister-in-law and her child and then drank battery acid in an attempt to commit suicide yesterday morning.
Mbongeni Matiti was admitted to hospital after the incident.
The deceased have been identified as:
Neighbours said they heard Nwabisa and her child screaming early yesterday morning.
One resident said: "I was awoken by Nwabisa and her child screaming, asking for forgiveness. I called another neighbour and we went to their house. We tried to open the burglar door but it was locked.
"We then went to the window where we saw Matiti attacking his wife and child with a spade. He then threw the keys through the window and drank battery acid."
The woman said she suspected that the killings were prompted by infidelity between the couple.
"The couple had been fighting since last October when Nwabisa found her husband with another woman in their house when she came back from Eastern Cape. The woman later fell pregnant with her husband's child.
"To pay revenge, Nwabisa also started cheating."
The woman said although the problem was resolved, Nwabisa continued cheating.
"Even last week she went out on Saturday and came back home on Sunday evening. And when Matiti chased her out of the house, she refused."
The woman said she believed Matiti was under the influence of liquor. "When we ultimately opened the house, we found a zol of dagga and a bottle of brandy."
ANC councillor in the area, Andile Lili, described the incident as horrific. "This is not the first incident like this to happen here. Last year a man strangled his child to death but failed to kill his wife," he said.
Western Cape police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed the incident and said community members apprehended and handed over the suspect to police.
Traut said it was believed the deceased were asleep when Matiti attacked them. "Three bodies were found in the main bedroom while the fourth was found in the kitchen. A knife and a spade, which we believe were used to commit the murders, were found on the scene," he said.
Matiti was expected to appear in court to face four murder charges after he was discharged from hospital.