Police condemn family massacres

South African crime scene experts work at the scene of the shooting of a union leader who was killed inside the National Union of Mineworkers offices by two unknown gunmen, in Marikana on June 3, 2013. The shootings at the Marikana mine near Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg, follow the assassination of a leader from the NUM's rival union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), last month. AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

POTCHEFSTROOM – North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane has condemned continued killings of people belonging to the same family.

This comes after four family members were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide at their home in Ikageng, near Potchefstroom, in North West.

Motswenyane says on-going family massacres are as a result of family disputes that turns violent, adding that the police have very little to do to prevent suicide killings.

“This is very disheartening because innocent children with a full life ahead of them are also killed in the process, it is hard for the police to prevent such killings because they are done in-doors, by people closest to you,” he said.

SA Police Service Spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Amanda Funani said it is disturbing to see incidents such as this when the 16 Days of Activism for no Violence Against Women and Children was taking place in the country.

Amongst the dead include a 46-year-old man, 30-year old women and two children aged nine and two respectively.

Funani says a 13-year-old stepdaughter told the police that her parents had an argument before her mother stormed out of the house; moments later, the father instructed her to go and search for her mother in the township.

When she came back, she got the shock of her life when she saw her father’s body hanging from the roof rafters and she went to call the neighbours, who alerted the police.

As she went to the room, Funani continued, she discovered the other three bodies lying lifeless.

“Police are investigating three counts of murder and holding an inquest. The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage,” Funani added.

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