A 54-year-old woman and two of her children, boys aged 10 and 7, have been murdered at Newtown near Mthatha.
A third child, a girl aged 6, is in a critical condition after a brutal attack on the family home on Sunday morning.
Eastern Cape police commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga has expressed shock at the brutal killing, saying that it was of great concern that such incidents continued to happen despite efforts to create awareness of the prevention of crimes against women and children.
The bodies of the woman and children were found on the scene at 5am. The girl has been taken to a hospital for treatment.
Police spokesman Colonel Michelle Matroos said a neighbour had heard screams coming from the home and had notified the police.
It was believed that the family had been attacked with sharp objects. The motive for the killing is not known.
Ntshinga called on rural communities to work with the traditional leadership, station commanders and community policing forums to discuss strategies and solutions in protecting women and children.
A multi-disciplinary task team consisting of experienced detectives had been activated to investigate the attack.
“We will not rest until we have tracked down these heartless criminals and have brought them to book.”
Anyone with information can contact Detective Captain Thandanza Mshumi on 082 4420 585 or the nearest police station or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.