Thu Oct 20 21:52:55 SAST 2016

Five are held over KZN serial killings

By unknown | Sep 25, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Police yesterday arrested four men and a woman, who are allegedly linked to the sugarcane fields serial murders at Umzinto, on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.

A intensive two-week long police investigation led to the arrest of a 36-year-old-man suspected to be the "kingpin" behind the serial killings of five women, who were also raped.

He was arrested along with four other suspects, including his girlfriend, yesterday morning in a house at Welbedacht informal settlement in Chatsworth, south of Durban.

"The breakthrough came after detectives followed up information which led them to Stanger and then to Port St Johns (Eastern Cape) and back to Chatsworth," said police spokesman Superintendent Zandra Hechter.

The suspects were caught asleep in a low-cost house and were found in possession of some of the victims' items.

Two other families who live at Welbedacht claimed yesterday that their daughters also went missing after they were promised a job at Sezela sugar mill near Eston in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

They claimed that the "kingpin" suspect left with their daughters after promising them jobs.

A Sowetan team visited the area yesterday after police had arrested the five suspects.

The families said the suspect had lied to them, saying their daughters were alive and working but it would not be easy to get hold of them.

A relative of one of the missing girls said her sister went home to Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape, to fetch another woman after the "kingpin" said there were two vacancies at the mill.

The families are now terrified as to what awaits them at a government mortuary in Umzinto where they will view two unidentified bodies today.

The "kingpin" is said to be from Port St Johns.

Police said they were confident the suspect was the man behind the killings and the one in the identity kit that was about to be released to the public this week.

It is alleged that the suspect lured the women with false job offers at a telecommunications company at Umzinto.

The victims' badly decomposed bodies were found with CVs and others with their IDs beside their bodies.

The first body discovered was that of Nombali Ngcobo of Inanda, north of Durban. She was buried a week ago.

Last week, a family from KwaMakhutha, south of Durban, also identified two bodies as those of their missing daughters Philisiwe and Nonjabulo Mpanza.

"Detectives from the Organised Crime Unit in Port Shepstone and members from Durban, led by Superintendent Campbell Nyuswa, caught the suspects at approximately 3.45am," said Hechter.

She said the man was arrested in a house, together with other four people, in possession of certain items belonging to the dead women.

Hechter could not specify what kind of "items" were found. She said the investigations were continuing to determine if there were any more victims involved.

Five people will appear in the Umzinto court tomorrowon charges of murder.


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