Police have arrested a suspect – allegedly preparing to flee the country – within 24 hours of the discovery of the brutal murder of a woman and her five children in the Eastern Cape.The victim and her children, between 6 months and 10 years old, were allegedly hacked to death with an axe at home in Dabekweni, Kwaaiman, on the eve of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign.
“The investigators received information which led them to a flat allegedly belonging to a relative in Ginsberg, where they found and arrested the 32-year-old male suspect who was in hiding,” said police spokesperson Brig Tembinkosi Kinana.
“It is alleged that the suspect, who cannot be identified until his court appearance, had escaped from Dabekweni locality in Kwaaiman after the incident to find refuge in King William’s Town. Details on how he found his way to Ginsberg are still under investigation. The suspect is yet to be interviewed by the detectives to establish the truth behind the tragic axe murders … At the time of the arrest the suspect is believed to have been preparing to flee SA back to his home country.”
Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Liziwe Ntshinga had ordered an immediate activation of the 72-hour plan to apprehend the suspect after the murders.
“I am truly excited at this major breakthrough by the integration of capable and proficient detectives. Their sleepless nights of investigation have paid dividends. The suspect must now face the law. Crimes against women and children are a top priority of the SA Police Service, our communities must not only hear this but must see its manifestations in the outcomes of the work we do,” said Ntshinga.
Once he is charged, the suspect is expected to appear at the Mqanduli magistrate’s court on Monday to face six counts of murder.
DispatchLIVE reported earlier that the woman’s 16-year-old firstborn son was the first person to discover the bodies at their home, near Elliotdale and Coffee Bay.
DispatchLIVE revealed that on the floor, at the scene of the killings, were photographs of those who died – with their faces scratched out.