Gunmen shoot family of 4 and a man execution style before burning their homes
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Johannesburg - Mpumalanga police have launched a manhunt for the murderers who shot dead five people and burnt their homes in Madras and Bushbuckridge on the same day.
In the first incident, Martha Ndlovu, 53, Eckson Five Ndlovu, 59, Lovenecia Ndlovu, 14, and Permission Ndlovu, 12, were asleep when gunmen, believed to have been four of them, entered their home in the early hours of Wednesday.
Spokesperson for the Mpumalanga police Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said that when officers arrived at the scene in Madras, the RDP house was on fire.
“Four victims (were) inside, lying unconscious with burn wounds, in two separate rooms. The emergency services were summoned for assistance and all the victims were, unfortunately, certified dead.
“Police further discovered that one family member, a 25-year-old man who was also in the house, survived the shooting and managed to alert neighbours who eventually notified police.”
Hlathi said four armed men also stormed a house in Mandela Village on the same day.
Inside, Hlathi said, Caswell Maphanga was dead. He had been shot as he slept.
“The suspects reportedly shot at him and then burnt the house before they fled the scene.
“Concerned members of the public notified relevant stakeholders about the incident. Upon arrival, the fire fighters extinguished the fire. However, Maphanga was, unfortunately, certified dead by the paramedics and police opened a murder case hence the manhunt.”
He said the a preliminary investigation revealed that shortly before the murders, Caswell's mother received a call from her other son, indicating that there were people looking for Caswell and were on their way to the house.
“The mother was reportedly at work at the time and she then learnt that the suspects had already killed Caswell as well as burnt her house. A preliminary probe has revealed that these killing sprees are as a result of gangs fighting each other.
“Police request Skhumbuzo Madalane and Bonginkosi Shakoane to come forward as they believe the duo can positively assist in the investigation.
“As a result of all these atrocious acts, Acting Provincial Commissioner Major General Thulani Phahla has motioned a 72-hour activation plan comprising all relevant disciplines, with a view to track down those responsible.
“In the meantime, police urge the community to be patriotic in their quest to find these heartless villains. They (community) can volunteer their valuable information if they have knowledge on the whereabouts of Madalane as well as Shakoane, by contacting Detective Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Bhiya at 072 015 8022, or Detective Captain Dexter Ndlovu at 082 922 9902 or 083 312 4305.
“Alternatively, members of the public can call the Crime Stop number 08600 10111 or send information via MYSAPSAPP. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous,” Hlathi said.