Old Man Mantinga Mncwabe’s children took it lightly when he said he feared he would die soon.

His eldest daughter said the 70-year-old told them at the weekend that relatives had accused him of evil deeds.


Early yesterday morning, his fears came true. Attackers stormed his homestead and hacked the madala and seven members of his family to death.

Madala’s wife Shonisile (60), children Nontobeko (27) and Phindile (27) and grandchildren Amanda (15), Amahle (12), Aphiwe (3) and Andile (1) died in the bloodbath at Mabheleni in Mtwalume, KZN.

Then his rondavel was torched. Two youngsters in another rondavel there escaped, one of whom was critically injured. Jalisile Mhlongo (40), the madala’s married eldest daughter, said there was a family feud, but wouldn’t give details.

“He spoke to us last weekend about his anguish,” said Jalisile.

Jalisile said a youngster ran crying to her home a few kilometres away at 1.30am to tell her of the tragedy. She was sure she would have been killed if she was still living with her dad.

Colonel Jay Naicker said people were taken for questioning. “The dead sustained severe head injuries. It is believed they were hacked with a sharp object,” said Naicker.

Acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Kgomotso Phahlane praised the task team led by the Hawks for the quick arrests of two suspects with bloodstained clothes and shoes. “A jacket which was worn by one of the suspects was found shoved in a pit toilet.

“Suspects aged 26 and 28 will appear in the Turton Magistrates Court on Friday,” said Phahlane.

Umzumbe mayor Thembinkosi Gumede said the council would help the family.

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