Gareth Cotterell
Digital News Editor
2 minute read
14 Dec 2021
11:32 am

Bodies of five kidnapped family members found burnt, decomposed in KZN

Gareth Cotterell

Initial investigations indicate that the murders could be linked to a family feud.

Picture: iStock

The burnt and decomposed bodies of five missing family members, including a one-month-old baby and two-year-old child, were found in a forest in Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal, on Monday.

The family had been missing since 16 November after they were kidnapped from their farm in Boston, just outside Pietermaritzburg. Their vehicle was also missing.

The missing family members were Sizwe Mauris Ngcobo, 64, Thandazile Zondi, 41, Bonokwakhe Khuboni, 40, Sibongile Fanelesibonge, 2, and one-month-old Libra Ngcobo.

KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, said initial investigations indicate that the murders could be linked to a family feud.

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Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said two suspects, aged 25 and 27, were taken in for questioning on Saturday. The two men were caught at KwaZinqamu in Elandskop.

Naicker added that a joint operation was launched on Monday which led the team to Byrne, Richmond, where the family’s car was found burnt.

“Further investigation led police to a plantation in Richmond where the gruesome discovered was made. The five burnt and decomposed bodies of the missing victims were found,” said Naicker.

Charges of murder and kidnapping are being investigated by Richmond Saps.

“More arrests are imminent as investigations progress,” said Naicker.

The two suspects are expected to make their first appearance in the Richmond Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Mkhwanazi congratulated the team who made the breakthrough.

“Over the days after the family went missing, a team comprising of various role players from the Saps and Magma Security joined the search for the missing victims. The team worked tirelessly after the matter was reported to ensure that the missing victims were found and that justice is served,” he said.

Six killed in ‘gruesome’ shooting in KZN

In a separate incident on Sunday, six people were killed when an unknown gunman entered a house in Folweni, KwaZulu-Natal, and opened fire.

One person survived the shooting.

The bodies of four men and two women, aged between 26 and 32, were found inside the house with multiple gunshot wounds.

“They were all declared dead at the scene,” said Naicker.