Four of six family members, who were murdered in Eshowe two weeks ago, have been laid to rest in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal.
The victims were between the ages of eight and 70. They were attacked and shot dead in their home, allegedly by a relative.
Mourners came from far to bid farewell to Octavia, Mbali, Thabo Khumalo and young Anothando Sgampu.
The two other victims, Christopher Khumalo and Snothile Hlongwane were buried in Eshowe last weekend.
It’s alleged that 36-year-old Sthembiso Mthimkhulu, a relative who is believed to be a social worker – entered the victims’ house, using an axe. Armed with a pistol, Mthimkulu allegedly shot them at close range after summoning them into a room.
The incident has left the family shocked and divided.
SABC News reporter Jayed-Leigh Paulse reports from the funeral:
Relative, Thokozani Mbatha, says she believes a sugarcane farm is the reason for the murders.
The sole survivor of the brutal attack is a 9-year-old girl.
Mbatha says she has been taken to a place of safety.
“The child is traumatised and in a place of safety. She did not come to the funeral because the family was not sure of who would be watching,” says Mbatha.
She believes that the suspect mistook the child for Anathando, who was killed.
Thokozani Mbatha, the sister of Octavia Khumalo tells the media that the 9-year old little girl who was the sole survivor of the massacre was sleeping in a separate room. She woke up to noise and heard everything. She is not at the funeral today #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/DmQFMa4YcK
— Jayed-Leigh Paulse (@JayedLeigh) March 6, 2021
The funeral was also beset by controversy. Bereaved family members and mourners had to wait for three hours before the service could start.
“There was a delay because the chief was not consulted. The family and local councillor had to go and speak to the chief before the funeral and he allowed them to continue. The right protocols had not been followed but they are thankful they could continue,” says another relative, Nelisiwe Madlala.
Mthimkhulu has appeared in the Eshowe Magistrate’s Court on six counts of murder.
Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the family after the massacre and called for justice.