suspect held ovER brutal slaying

POLICE Commissioner Bheki Cele has applauded the police for the arrest of a 21-year old in connection with the murder of six friends in Ntuzuma township north of Durban.

POLICE Commissioner Bheki Cele has applauded the police for the arrest of a 21-year old in connection with the murder of six friends in Ntuzuma township north of Durban.

One of the deceased is radio presenter Ntombikayise Ngwane of Inanda FM, a community radio station in the region.

The six were brutally murdered when three men entered Ngwane's home wielding AK-47s and R5s on the evening of December 25.

The attackers opened fire, leaving Ngwane, 24, Mtuseni Gumede-Mlanduli, 24, Njabulo Dlamini, 24, Mxolisi Sangweni, 25, S'mangaliso Nkosi, 24 and Neli Magwaza dead and three others wounded.

The six were gunned down while they were socialising with their neighbours. The motive for the attack remains unknown.

The crime scene looked like a war zone, with the lounge walls pitted by bullet holes.

Ngwane's family have left their home fearing that the assailants will come to finish off those who survived.

"It is through the sheer dedication and willingness of our police officers to eradicate criminality in our country that these suspects were arrested in such quick succession," Cele said.

"The officers must be applauded."

A spokesperson for the families said the community was still shocked about the incident.

"We are in shock. The other two culprits are still about and we don't know what could happen next," the spokesperson said.

"We are thankful for the arrest but we wish someone would give us answers. We would like better communication with those investigating."

The suspects' arrest was also a relief to the Inanda FM radio station management.

"Though the arrest won't bring Ntombikayise back we are relieved that the justice system is doing something," Inanda FM station manager Thandeka Msani said.

Ngwane was laid to rest at her home in Mtwalume on Saturday.

Sangweni and Magwaza were laid to rest yesterday and Nkosi and Dlamini will be buried on Wednesday.

Cele said more arrests would follow.

"The suspect is cooperating with the police," he said.

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