Revenge, witchcraft claims

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Kranskop police have arrested two of four suspects in what is believed to have been the revenge killing of four family members at Easter.

Funizwe Nxele, 80, his wife Banyundile, 65, his daughter Hloniphile, 41, and his grandson Thabo, 11, all of Mphisa, on KwaZulu-Natal's north coast, were killed in a hail of bullets and their bodies burnt beyond recognition.

Superintendent Zethembe Chonco said: "We regard this heinous murder as a revenge attack because one of the Nxele family members was a suspect in a previous killing."

Chonco said that while the family were holding a vigil for a dead relative, the suspects allegedly went to the Nxele's home and opened fire on them.

The two men, aged 20 and 35, were arrested yesterday and are expected to appear in the Kranskop magistrates' court today. Two pistols and a homemade cut-down gun were recovered.

l A 25-year-old man was arrested by community members in Ekuvukeni, in Ladysmith, while boarding a taxi to Gauteng on Easter Monday.

He is suspected of murdering local induna Sipho Mabaso, 64, and his wife, Phumzile, 63, at Ekuvukeni last month.

The Mabasos were at home mourning a family member who had been buried the previous day. They had been accused of witchcraft by other family members.

On Saturday, another five suspects were arrested in Gauteng.

Mzwakhe Mabaso and his twin brother, Zakhele Mabaso, both 59, Mapasi Mabaso, 53, S'phamandla Mabaso, 23, and S'bango Mabaso, 21, appeared in the Wasbank magistrates' court on Tuesday .