Johannesburg - A bloodied brick was at the bottom of the cream enamel wash basin.
On Sunday, the relatives of two dead women and a child and two critically injured cousins tried to wash the blood off it, but some stubborn bloodstains remained at the corners of what the police say was the murder weapon.
A 27-year-old relative of the victims has been arrested and is now the subject of a police investigation for allegedly “hacking his victims with an axe on their heads”, according to an official police statement.
Munu Motloung, an aunt of the suspect, said: “He killed the people who loved him the most.”
She was sitting with eyes cast down during the interview, staring at a stack of pictures of her dead relatives.
They were murdered in the early hours of on Sunday, allegedly with the crude weapon.
Members of the Motloung family – Puleng, 67, Mantsu, 29, and her nephew, 7-year-old Kgalalelo – died.
The man’s two cousins, aged 18 and 15, were critically injured and were in Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.
Onica Motloung was among the first relatives called to the Orange Farm house.
“When I got here at around 6.30am, there were police and paramedics. I was scared, and when I walked inside, I started crying,” the visibly traumatised woman said.
“There was blood everywhere, they were all in one room and there was blood everywhere.”
Puleng – believed to be the first to be struck – was rushed to Sebokeng Hospital. Onica was in the ambulance with her.
“She wasn’t talking; she was just quiet, but was still alive. When we got to the hospital, she had lost too much blood and she died.”
Mantsu and the man who killed her were very close, to the point where she was overprotective, as he had no other friends apart from her, Motloung said.
And, as the family tried to piece together what could have pushed the quiet loner, who often got aggressive when drunk, to the brink, a crinkled brown envelope in his bag presented some clues.
A paragraph of apparently cryptic thoughts scribbled on it, allegedly by the 27-year-old, reads: “Is someone like me allowed to join the Illuminati? Any suitable person can join, but to prove that you are suitable involves a long arduous process. We must ensure that the enemy does not infiltrate us, it would be a catastrophe for the human race.”
A Google search showed the piece was cribbed from a website apparently on the workings of the Illuminati (a shadowy secret society).
Motloung said the suspect was a troubled man who had tried to commit suicide three times in previous years.
The man lived in Tembisa with his parents, who, she said, were traumatised and in shock.
“They say at his home that when he’d get upset, he would tie elastic bands tightly around his wrists.”
In the afternoon, most of the furniture from the rooms the dead women slept in was taken out and placed in the yard in observance of traditional township mourning rites.
Residents and churchgoers streamed in to offer their prayers and condolences.
The 27-year-old – who had fled the scene – was arrested in Tembisa.
Gauteng police spokeswoman Captain Augustinah Selepe said: “The motive behind the incident is still under investigation.
The suspect is expected to appear in the Vereeniging Regional Court on Tuesday, police have said.
The Star and Sapa