Mthatha - Eastern Cape police called for calm in Cofimvaba on Thursday following conflict-ridden land disputes in the Ncorha administrative area.
Since last week, nine homesteads have been burnt down and a 50-year-old woman was allegedly raped, stabbed, and robbed in the area.
Cofimvaba station commander Lt-Col Gcinikhaya Taleni warned people to stop the violence and fighting immediately, and suggested they find an amicable way to resolve the disagreement.
The SA Police Service had deployed public order police and the tactical response unit “to quell the unrest”, he said.
“These units will continue to do patrols in the area until calm has returned. The reason for the deployment is to ensure safety of the people and protect their property. Anyone who is perpetrating criminal activities will be arrested.”
Warrant Officer Namhla Mdleleni said 15 people had been arrested and 13 cases had been opened on various charges, including arson, attempted murder, murder, rape, and assault.
“A case of rape and robbery was opened and one suspect has been arrested. The victim alleged that three suspects raped her and she managed to identify one of them, while two are still at large,” she said.
“In another incident, a 50-year-old man was stabbed to death and his wife seriously injured. A case of murder has been opened.”
Mdleleni said the police also confiscated a number of dangerous weapons.
All 15 people appeared in court this week and were expected back in court between June 24 and 26.
Mdleleni said she did not have details on the land dispute.