Three more bodies are found

Mhlaba Memela and Canaan Mdletshe

Mhlaba Memela and Canaan Mdletshe

More and more people are coming forward to report missing female relatives in Shayamoya, Umzinto, on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.

There are now fears that more women may have fallen victim to a serial killer after police found the bodies of three more women in the sugarcane fields in the area.

The badly decomposed bodies were found on Friday. The discovery brought the number of the suspected serial killer victims to eight.

Police spokesman Superintendent Zandra Hechter said the three bodies were found in the sugarcane fields closest to Shayamoya township.

"It was part of the police investigation that led to the discovery of the three bodies. Superintendent Campbell Nyuswa and his team found the three badly decomposed bodies. Their identities are still unknown," she said.

Hechter said that since the discovery of the bodies, more families have come forward to inquire about or report missing family members.

She said that more than three families a day have approached the police.

Last weekend five people were arrested in connection with the initial discovery of five bodies. Two suspects were later released.

On Friday, two men and a woman - suspected to be a girlfriend of the main suspect - appeared briefly at Umzinto magistrates' court on charges of abduction and murder.

Their case was remanded to next week.

Only one of the eight bodies has so far been officially identified as that of Nombali Ngcobo, 35, from Umzinyathi, north of Durban.

A family from Folweni, south of Durban, believes two of the bodies are those of their daughters - Philisiwe, 27, and Nonjabulo Mpanza, 21.

The two mysteriously went missing after a man allegedly promised them better-paying jobs in Umzinto.

The family is anxiously waitingforensic and DNA results from the police laboratory in Pretoria.

Local resident Thembeka Majola said: "The whole thing is very traumatic. I see police every day when they search the sugarcane fields because my home is on the hill.

"I believe that there are still more bodies in the sugarcane fields," said Majola.

She said women were now living like hostages in their own homes because they feared to go out alone.

"Despite the arrests, I am still scared and cannot walk freely in the area," she said.