Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal South Coast family was reeling on Sunday in the wake of the gruesome discovery of four children’s mutilated bodies at their home in Nzimakwe in Ncukeni near Port Edward.

Siblings Bandile, 12, Lwandile, 10, Sphindile, 7, and Lwandle Mbhele, 4, were found stabbed to death on Saturday morning.

Three of them had had their left ears cut off.

Their uncle, Ben Khumalo, said on Sunday that their mother had left the children alone on Friday night and gone out. “There are no elders in this family as they have passed on, the children lived with their mother. I don't live here full-time because of work,” he said.

Khumalo was at work when he got a call to go home.

“When I got home I found this tragedy. All the neighbours were at the house. My niece and nephews had been stabbed to death. The police would not even let me inside. The house had been cordoned off with yellow tape,” he said.

He said violent crime like this was not common in the area.

“This is the first time that something like this has happened; what happened to my niece and nephews is very painful,” he said.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed that police were investigating four counts of murder.

“On Saturday morning, four children’s bodies were discovered by a neighbour,” she said. “They had sustained multiple stab wounds.”

Three of the children were found inside the house and one outside.

The three who were found inside had all had their left ears severed.

She said the children were home alone at the time they were killed.

Their mother was out for the night and she only returned the following morning.

A case of child neglect was also being investigated.

The Mercury