Picture: Independent Media

Durban - A South Coast family was left reeling in horror after two young cousins were hacked to death at their grandmother’s home in Bhobhoyi, near Port Shepstone, on Monday.

Their grandmother was also injured in the attack.

She was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

The man believed to be responsible - the children’s uncle and the woman’s son - was killed when he was hit by a truck a short while after the attack.

When The Mercury phoned the family on Sunday, the woman who answered was too distraught to speak.

She handed the phone to another of the children’s uncles, Lungisani Gumede.

Gumede, too, was shocked and traumatised.

He identified the children as Siyamthanda Smith, a girl aged 3, and Thobane Khwane, a boy aged 2.

Gumede said their parents had gone out the night before and had left the children in the care of their grandmother, Mary Smith.

The three of them were sharing a bed when, at sunrise, the assailant - believed to be Gumede’s brother, 20-year-old Wiseman Smith - apparently stormed in and began attacking them with a bush knife.

Afterwards, Gumede said, his brother ran off and threw himself in front of a truck on the freeway.

He had a history of mental illness, Gumede said, and although his brother had been receiving treatment, the family believed that Wiseman might have had a relapse in condition.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said the case was under investigation.

“Two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder were opened at Port Shepstone police station after two children were hacked to death,” Zwane said.

“The third victim sustained injuries and was taken to hospital where she is receiving treatment”. He confirmed the suspect had fled the scene and was later hit by a truck, on the N2 freeway.

“A case of culpable homicide will be opened.

“It is not clear whether he wanted to commit suicide,” Zwane said.

Just months ago, four siblings were stabbed and hacked to death at their Nzimakwe home near Port Edward, also on the South Coast.

A neighbour discovered the mutilated bodies of Bandile, Lwandile, Sphindile and Lwandle Mbhele - three of whom had had their ears hacked off - the next day.

The Mercury