murder accused slays relatives

A 42-YEAR-OLD man alleged to have hacked four children and his 78-year-old mother to death was already on bail, Eastern Cape police said on Saturday.

A 42-YEAR-OLD man alleged to have hacked four children and his 78-year-old mother to death was already on bail, Eastern Cape police said on Saturday.

The man was on trial for the 2005 murder of his brother.

His bail had been paid by his mother, the 78-year old woman who was found dead on Saturday morning, Captain Zamukulungisa Jozana said.

The children, all boys, were aged four, 11, 13 and 16. They were all relatives of the 42-year-old man. Two of them, the four-year-old and 16-year-old, were visiting from Bojane near Ngcobo. The 11-year-old and 13-year-old were his brother's children.

"This is not the first time the suspect has killed people in the same house," said Jozana. "The 2005 murder had happened in the same place."

Superintendent Mzukisi Fatyela said the three younger children were killed in their sleep, while it is believed the 16-year-old attempted to escape.

The bodies were discovered by a neighbour who wanted to borrow some sugar. Outside the house he found the 42-year-old man who led him to the bodies and the murder weapon, an axe.

The interrogation of the man has been frustrated because he is a mute and unable to communicate. Fatyela said the police were attempting to use sign language. - Sapa

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