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Durban - Police watchdog the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has launched a probe into claims that members of a specialised task team unlawfully shot dead five men at Umtshezi, in uThukela, last week.

It is alleged that officers entered the Kubheka family home on October 7 and bound the men's wrists with cable ties before shooting them execution-style.

Speaking to the Daily News, Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini confirmed that a team of their investigators had arrived at the scene minutes after receiving information about the shooting.

“The version of events given by the police will be tested against that of witnesses as well as the evidence in totality. The investigation continues,” Dlamini said.

The shooting comes in the midst of a spate of incidents in KwaZulu-Natal where members of the same families were gunned down.

On October 3, eight people from the Sibiya family were killed in Greytown. Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said five family members were shot dead inside a rondavel.

“A 60-year-old woman with four children aged between 2 and 16 died at the scene. A few metres away, three more people from the same family were killed,” said Gwala.

She added that on October 5, five people from the Gwala family were shot dead in their Mariannhill home.

Four men have since been arrested. A fifth man was shot dead after an exchange of gunfire with police.

A day after the shooting at the Kubheka home, three men were killed and three more seriously injured when armed men opened fire on them along the M35, near Folweni.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said one of the dead was a taxi boss, while the other two were drivers.

Acting Provincial Commissioner Major-General Bheki Langa said detectives had been tasked to meticulously investigate these cases and bring those responsible to book.

Daily News