Two Cacadu boys aged 12 and eight woke up to the nightmare of a broken window and finding their aunt’s body lying in a pool of blood.
Nozaziyedwa Nontyida, 44, had been brutally stabbed to death in her rondavel at Zingqolweni Village.
Three more bodies were soon discovered a few houses away. One of them was Nosizwe Yawa, 72, who lived alone two doors down. A few houses further along two more bodies were found. Nomsisi Jenete, 75, had stab wounds, and her partner, Mthimkane Mpoqane, 88, had his throat slit.
The two boys alerted a relative, Ncebakazi Nontyida.
“We found the house in chaos. My aunt was in a pool of blood; her eyes were open, but she did not speak,” Nontyida said. The boys had slept through the attack, hearing nothing.
A distraught Nombuyo, the daughter of Mpoqane, said: “Last week we buried a relative who had been raped and killed and no-one was arrested. My father’s neck was slit open like a cow. I do not understand. He was 88 years old.”
She said her father was hospitalised in March last year after he was beaten and his ribs broken. “Opening a case is useless because the person was not arrested,” she said.
Provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Liziwe Ntshinga visited the families on Wednesday.
Community members told her two other women were murdered in separate incidents in December and January.
They said there were six murders in the area in just three months, with no arrests. They had given the police a list of names of possible suspects but the police did little.
“I am giving the police 72 hours to track, trace and arrest the suspect or suspects,” Ntshinga said. “We will not rest until the suspects are found and brought to book. We urge anyone with information to please come forward.”
Emalahleni Local Municipality mayor Nontombizanele Koni said: “We need to find out what caused this [tragedy].
“ I am happy that the provincial commissioner is here because I know that when she promises that something will be done within 72 hours, something will happen. I have that hope.
”[We cannot] keep quiet when elderly people die in numbers like this. That is why I asked for her intervention.”