Man shoots three relatives, then himself

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A man who suspected that his three relatives were bewitching his family, shot them dead before killing himself at the weekend.

The incident took place on Sunday afternoon in Mbekwane village, outside Tzaneen, in Limpopo.

Police Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba, identified the man as Peter Ngobeni, 35, who worked as a security guard at a mine in Gauteng.

"When police arrived at the scene, the two blood-soaked lifeless bodies of Ngobeni and his mother, Mphephu Mushwana, 56, were still lying there," said Ramatseba.

The bodies of Ngobeni's grandmother, Mohlabine Mushwana, 80, and cousin, Dina Mushwana, 50, were found a few kilometres away.

Ramatseba said the motive for the killings had not yet been established.

But he said the villagers claimed that the killings were linked to witchcraft.

A villager who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Ngobeni had accused his mother, grandmother and cousin of bewitching his wife and children.

He said Ngobeni was called home urgently at the weekend after his family claimed that cats and monkeys had turned his home into a soccer field.

Ngobeni and his wife allegedly went to a local sangoma who told them they were being bewitched.

He said Ngobeni fetched his son and went to his grandmother's house.

He shot his grandmother dead, then went to his cousin's home nearby, and shot her several times in the head.

Ngobeni then walked about 12km to his mother's home where he shot her in the head.

After killing the three, Ngobeni kissed his 11-year-old son and told him he was going to heaven.

He then shot himself and died instantly.

His son screamed for help, attracting the attention of other villagers.

A spokesman for the family, Othaniel Mushwana, also mayor of the greater Tzaneen municipality, yesterday confirmed the rumours of witchcraft surrounding Ngobeni's family.