Two people have been arrested and charged in connection with the murder of five members of an Edendale family.
The bodies of the victims, aged between 85 and nine, were discovered on Wednesday by a relative who had been visiting and became suspicious when no one answered.
They have been identified as the Gumede family and include an 85-year-old woman, her 45-year-old daughter and her three children, 11-year-old twins and a nine-year-old.
According to police, all the victims had sustained fatal head injuries and a blood-stained axe was found at the scene.
Speaking about the arrests, provincial police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said less than 24 hours after the murder police arrested two people.
Philani Shezi, 39, and Siphesihle Xulu, 24, appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Each face five counts of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Netshiunda said Xulu abandoned his bail application, while Shezi is expected to make a formal bail application on February 7.
The provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has applauded the investigating team for a swift breakthrough and has ordered that intensive investigations must still be conducted to ensure that the suspects receive the sentence befitting their heinous act.
“The swift arrest of the suspects is commendable. We applaud the investigating team for the quick turnaround time in making this notable progress.
“No stone must be left unturned in the quest for justice and if there are other suspects connected to the matter we shall ensure that they also face the mighty arm of the law.”