Pretoria - Mpumalanga’s acting MEC for Safety, Security, and Community Liaison, Speedy Mashilo, has revealed that the man accused of hacking a mother and her three children to death was a lover who refused to accept that their relationship had ended.
Mashilo made the statement in a State of the Province Address debate in the provincial legislature this week.
Legislature member Dikeledi Mahlangu was the first to raise the issue of the murders in the House, and received support from Mashilo and others.
“The ANC has learned with sadness about the murders of the woman and her three children who included twin boys. It is very concerning that our women and children are killed in this manner by suspects known to them.
“Preventing the killing of women and children is a national priority. We should declare war on gender-based violence and femicide. We urge all structures in the province to stand together with the family and victims of violent crimes,” said Mahlangu.
Police discovered the bodies of 44-year-old Philisiwe Makhubu, her 13-year-old twin boys Andile and Luyanda Nkosi, and her daughter Siphelele Nkosi, 6.
The spine-chilling discovery was made at Makhubu’s home in Thandukukhanya, in the Piet Retief area on February 24, after relatives were unable to get hold of her.
According to provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, the victims were discovered in a room in the locked house they called home.
An axe was found next to the bodies, which has led to police bagging it as part of their investigation.
Following calls for Makhubu’s former boyfriend, Afrika Shongwe, 55, to help police with the investigation, the suspect was later apprehended and linked to the crime.
Mohlala said the accused abandoned his bail bid when he appeared in the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court this week.
Shongwe, a Kingdom of eSwatini citizen, faces four charges of murder and one of contravening the Immigration Act. He has been remanded in custody and the case postponed to March 27 for a trial date.
MEC Mashilo, a deputy chairperson of the ANC in Mpumalanga, said gender-based violence was unacceptable.
“Those kids were very innocent. These people were lovers and when the time came that they separated, this person decided to do that.
“I must thank the police for arresting him swiftly before he could skip the country,” said Mashilo.