A man has been arrested on five counts of murder and arson after he allegedly set alight a house in Seymour in the Eastern Cape, resulting in the deaths of his girlfriend and four others on Tuesday.
A baby, only five months old, was also a casualty in the blaze which was started at 01.20am, police spokesperson Colonel Sibongile Soci said.
The five relatives inside the house were the 30-year-old girlfriend of the suspect, her mother, 46, her sister, 24, a 34-year-old man and the baby.
“The flames were witnessed by a community member who also saw the suspect allegedly starting the fire. He called in members of the community and a 32-year-old male suspect was arrested and handed over to the police,” Soci said.
“Police will not speculate on the motive for the attack and it will form part of the investigation.”
Eastern Cape police commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga condemned the incident as “gruesome and cruel”.
“No one deserves to die in such a painful manner,” she said, urging detectives to “ensure that the suspect is convicted and meted with a deserving sentence”.
The suspect is expected in the Seymour Magistrate’s Court soon.