DURBAN: A social worker, en route to provide support for a 9-year-old girl who hid under a bed while her uncle allegedly murdered her entire family, has been hijacked at gunpoint.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza has called on police to investigate the crime and bring those responsible to book. The social worker was hijacked at the premises of the social development service office.
The MEC, as well as the mayor of the Umlalazi Local Municipality, Councillor Thulani Dlamini, were advised of the hijacking of the social worker while at the Khumalo homestead.
A team of inter-faith leaders, local municipality leaders and MEC Khoza had converged on the Khumalo homestead in the Nkanini area, Eshowe, for a prayer following the murders of six family members on Saturday.
The deceased, including two pensioners, Christopher (70), his wife Octavia (63), Mbali,(29), Thabo (10), Sinothile (18) and eight-year-old Langelihle Sigampu, were gunned down while watching television in the lounge.
The suspect is a social worker who was stationed in the Esikhaleni district.
Speaking during the visit to the Khumalo family, Khoza said the murders had sent a shockwave through the country.
"We are really taken aback by this incident. We didn't expect that a social worker could be involved in such a horrific incident, to wipe out the entire family. At this stage we don't know what could have led to such an incident, but we want to give assurance to the Khumalo family that the government feels their pain and will support them throughout their painful journey. We are not a government that only comes to the communities when it's good, but during this difficult time we stand with them," she said.
Khoza said it was equally painful that the social worker assigned to provide support to the family was hijacked.
"He was supposed to hand over the matter to his colleagues at the Inanda office, but was hijacked at gunpoint on the premises before completing his assignment," she said.
MEC Khoza urged law enforcement agencies to investigate the spate of hijackings of state vehicles.
"It is unfortunate that while we are supposed to give support to the bereaved families, we also have to ensure the wellbeing of our social workers."
Councillor Dlamini said the community was still reeling from shock after the murder of the Khumalo family members.
"As government we will continue to provide support to victims. We are pleased that the provincial government has taken the matter into their own hands to provide support to the family. We also want to thank Social Development MEC Khoza and her team for always being with communities in such difficult times," Dlamini said.