The defence force has joined the hunt for a group of men responsible for a Christmas Day massacre that left seven dead in the Mt Ayllif area of the Eastern Cape.
Police said that at about 5am on December 25, a group of men from the Mpeni area clashed with those from Nokhatshile village. Seven people, mostly from the Nokhatshile group, were killed and six others taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, spokesperson for Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane, told eCNA that the fight was allegedly over a taxi route dispute in the area.
SAPS spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo said that the army had been called in.
“Following the killing of the seven men in Mt Ayllif this morning, the SA National Defence Force has joined forces with the SAPS to pursue suspects who are possibly hiding in a vast, unforgiving and undulated area around Mt Ayllif. The SANDF is assisting with equipment, including helicopters, and providing reinforcements as a force-multiplier to our already deployed reinforcements,” he said.
Acting national police commissioner Lt-Gen Sindile Mfazi ordered the immediate deployment of SAPS reinforcements to ensure a speedy stabilisation of the area, “which is currently very tense”.
“I am appealing to the community within Mt Ayliff and surrounding areas to exercise maximum restraint and to assist police in their investigations to bring those responsible for these attacks to book”, said Mfazi.