File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

RUSTENBURG -Two people arrested in connection with killings at Sondela informal settlement near Rustenburg appeared in camera at the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in North West advocate Thembeka Mbadu said the case was held in camera because an identity parade was to be conducted. 

She said the two kidnapping and murder suspects would apply for bail on 6 December. Four others are expected to appear in court on Friday and again on 6 December together with the two suspects who were in court today. 

The police said they were expecting to make more arrests in connection with the matter. 

The pair was arrested on Monday, following a spate of killings at Sondela, where 11 people have been killed between November 18 and November 26 in apparent ethnic attacks.

Local people said the conflict between isiXhosa and Sesotho speaking members of the community flared up in August after an isiXhosa speaking man allegedly stabbed a Sesotho speaking man in a fight over a girl. 

A few days later, a group of Basotho men beat up the Xhosa man at a soccer match in Sondela. 

In a separate incident on 18 November, a group of men claiming to conduct a search to for dangerous weapons entered a house and confiscated a firearm. 

They found a Sotho man, whose brother had rented a room on the property, and beat him up when he said that he did not know where the owner of the main house was.

"They beat him with hammers and forced him to take them to his brother. On arrival they smashed his head with hammers. They tied him together with his younger brother dragged them to an open veld and set them alight," a woman living in the area said.

She said the house where the brothers were killed had blood spattered on the walls and ceiling. 

"It was a horrible scene, there was blood all over," she said. 

She said when the landlord, who had been in Johannesburg, returned. "He looked at the house where his country men were killed and he went to Lesotho. 

"He brought with him three minibus taxis full of Basotho men to fight."

The woman said on Sunday a group of men stormed a house in the area, smashing windows and breaking doors before they kidnapped four men and a woman. 

They were all found dead on Monday - three men and a woman were necklaced with a tyres and one man was stabbed with a sharp object in the neck and his nose had been cut off.

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News Agency (ANA)