A house and shacks were damaged during conflicts in Sondela near Rustenburg. At least 11 people have been killed and eight arrested. Photo: ANA

RUSTENBURG - Three more people have been arrested in connection with killings at the Sondela informal settlement near Rustenburg, North West police said on Friday.

Spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said they were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday. They are expected to appear in the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court on Monday, facing a charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

The arrests brings the number to eight the number of people arrested in connection with Sondela killings, with two men appearing in the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday on charges of kidnapping and murder. 

Their case was postponed to December 6 for bail application.   

Three of the four men were expected to appear in court on Friday. 

The police said one man was released after he could not be linked with the incidents.

Eleven people were allegedly killed and properties burned in separate incidents between November 18 and 26 in Sondela.

"In the first incident, two cases of murder were registered after two men were found dead on Sunday, 18 November 2018 at Sondela informal settlement. It is apparent that tyres were used to set alight the victims.  Further investigation into the incident revealed that the victims were from Matatiele in the Eastern Cape," said Brigadier Mokgwabone.

"In other separate incidents between Wednesday, 21 and Thursday, 22 November 2018, two cases of murder were opened for investigation after two bodies of males were also found at various locations within the Informal Settlement. One of them was allegedly stabbed to death." 

On November 24, two men reported to be Lesotho nationals were allegedly stabbed to death.

"In the early hours of Monday, November 26, 2018, five bodies; four males and one female were also found at separate locations in Sondela Informal Settlement. The motive of these incidents is not yet clear at this stage and investigation into all cases continues," he said.

Locals said the conflict stems from an incident in which a Xhosa speaking man stabbed a Sotho speaking man when they  fought over a woman. 

Ever since that time people were found killed in the area.

On November 18, a group of Xhosa men went on a raid looking for a man who allegedly rented his gun out, in that raid two Sothos were killed.

In revenge a group Sothos, known as Marashiya, arrived in Sondela and the fighting continued.

On November 25, a group of Xhosa men allegedly broke doors and windows at three houses, and kidnapped four men and a woman. 

Three men and a woman were found dead and burnt in different areas of Sondela while the other man was stabbed with a sharp object in the neck. He had a broken neck and his nose was cut  off.

African News Agency (ANA)