Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

2 suspects arrested after 10 family members gunned down in Pietermaritzburg

Seven women and three men were killed in the mass shooting.

Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the mass shooting on Friday that claimed the lives of 10 family members in Imbali township in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.

Family members gunned down

Ten people from the same family – seven women and three men – were gunned down by a group of unknown armed men who stormed their home. An eight-year-old was wounded and another person, a 22-year-old, escaped unharmed.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Friday in Unit 14.

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Briefing the media at the crime scene, Police Minister Bheki Cele confirmed that the suspects were traced by police to a house where they were apparently undergoing a cleansing ceremony.

When police approached them, they exchanged fire with officers, leading to one suspect being shot dead and another being wounded.

Cele said two suspects, including the one whose wounded, were arrested. Another suspect is said to have fled the scene.

The minister also confirmed that police recovered three firearms.

“As police were attending to the crime scene, they received information that they were people who were doing some cleansing [ceremony] about a kilometre and a half from the crime scene.

“Police went to the scene and there were four people who were standing outside. When they saw the police, they exchanged fire and police shot back at them. They killed one [suspect], wounded one whose arrested and another suspect was arrested uninjured; [another suspect] ran away,” said Cele.

The minister said the suspect who was shot and killed was wanted by police for various crimes.

“He is linked to too many crime scenes, especially murder around here. He is known to be a notorious guy around Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Inanda… we thank police that they managed to respond quickly on the matter.”

Four shot dead in KwaMashu

The mass shooting in Pietermaritzburg comes after four people were killed at B Section in KwaMashu, Durban, on Thursday afternoon.

According to the police, the four deceased were sitting together in one room when about four suspects entered the room and opened fire. 

“Two of the deceased are brothers who lived in the same house, one was a neighbour and the other deceased was a friend who had visited from Phoenix, reportedly a night before,” said police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda.

The suspects reportedly fled the scene in a vehicle belonging to the deceased who had visited. 

Netshiunda said motive of the shooting was unknown and no arrests were made.

Additional reporting by Khethukuthula XuluThe Witness

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