3 kzn women slain

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

A special task team has been established to investigate the brutal murder of three women in Amandawe, near Scottburgh, on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.

In all three incidents, the victims were shot in the head.

Sisters Nosipho Hlophe, 19, and Amanda Hlophe, 16, were shot and killed at their home in Esilengeni ward in Amandawe on Monday night.

And in a separate incident at about the same time, Isabel Simphiwe Nyawose, 34, was also shot and killed at her home in KaS'gewu ward, also in Amandawe, about two kilometres away from the first shooting.

There are unconfirmed reports that Nosipho Hlophe was going to identify and testify against the men who had robbed her of a cellphone last year.

Police spokesman Captain Vincent Pandarum said that Scottburgh detectives are investigating the murders, and also the probability that the same suspects may have been involved in both shooting incidents.

"At this stage, we don't see any link between the murders, but we are investigating.

"We suspect that the same culprits could have been involved," said Pandarum.

He said Nosipho and Amanda were at home with their 62-year-old grandmother, Henrietta Hlophe, watching television when two men kicked open the back door and entered the house.

"The men, wearing balaclavas, followed the girls into their bedrooms and shot them.

"Both sustained gunshot wounds to their heads and died at the scene. The gunmen then robbed the grandmother of R600 before fleeing the scene," Pandarum said.

Police found the girls' bodies on the floors of their bedrooms.

He said in the second incident, Nyawose left her baby with her neighbours and was supposed to have returned later to fetch her. But, she failed to turn up.

"Her concerned neighbours then called the police to check up on her as she lived barely 15metres away from their house.

"The police knocked repeatedly at her house and when they did not get a response, they pushed the door open.

"They found the victim lying in a pool of blood on the floor.

"She had been shot through the head. The motive for the murders has not yet been established.

"A cell phone next to the body was not taken by the attackers," Pandarum said.

Police have appealed to anyone with any information that may help in the investigation to contact Captain Zenzele Khumalo or Detective Inspector Bhekithemba Cele on 039-978-1900.