Six people from a single family were shot dead, allegedly by a relative who has since been arrested, the police said on Monday.

The family was murdered on Saturday night at their home in Nkanini, Eshowe.

“It is alleged that on Saturday around 23:00 the suspect arrived at the home and called all members of the family together. This had occurred after he forced the door open with an axe, which was later found inside the house. The suspect was armed with a pistol, which he used to kill six members of the family aged between eight and 70 years of age,” police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said.

He added the suspect fled the scene after the incident.

“Detectives worked around the clock and traced the suspect to Greytown this morning [Monday]. The 36-year-old man was arrested by detectives and will be conveyed to Eshowe where he will be detained for the murders.”

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He is expected to appear in the Eshowe Magistrate’s Court soon, facing six counts of murder, Naicker said.

Acting KwaZulu-Natal Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Kwazi Mshengu said a child survived the attack.

“The only survivor was a 9-year-old child who had hidden herself in the house during the attack, who after the killing she cried until she fell asleep.”

He condemned the incident, saying it was “callous and cold-blooded”.

“However, we commend the police who immediately responded to the attack and now the suspect will have his day in court to answer for this horrendous crime.”

Mshengu said the latest crime statistics indicated murder cases have increased by 10,4% and firearms were among the most common weapons used to commit crimes.

“We have tasked police to identify all crime hotspots in the province and deploy additional officers in order to beef up visibility. We will not allow a situation whereby citizens live in constant fear. The fact that a family was attacked in the comfort of their own home is a serious concern.”


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