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Mystery deaths baffle community

FEAR has gripped the community of eDumbe in Paulpietersburg, northern Zululand, after four people suffered mysterious attacks - which they believe are by a hyena.

The attacks left two people dead over the past two weeks. The situation is so bad that two back-to-back community meetings have been held to try and come up with a permanent solution.

ANC councillor in the area Majuba Mavuso said it all started on February 2 when a person was found dead.

"He was naked and had gashing wounds on the right arm and right leg. What baffled us was that there was not a single bloodstain.

"Then last Wednesday another man was found with similar wounds at another spot in the area. Fortunately he survived and is in hospital," Mavuso said.

Mavuso said on Saturday another man was attacked and he told people that he only remembered seeing something that looked like a hyena or wild dog.

"What is mind-boggling is that when he was found he was also stark naked like the other two," he said.

He said after a third attack a community meeting was held on Tuesday. It was attended by the police and a representative of KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife.

"We wanted the wildlife people to explain how possible it was for a hyena to attack a human being.

"But unfortunately when the official saw the wounds inflicted by this thing, she could not say whether it was a hyena or not," he said.

Mavuso said when people were on their way home from a meeting they were met by a terrible smell. When they investigated it they found another body of a man who was last seen on Saturday at a tavern.

His family thought he was at his girlfriend's house.

KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife spokesperson Doreen Zimu said: "I want to stress that wild dogs don't attack people. So I can safely say that it's not the dogs that are attacking people."

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