KZN under scrutiny as hitmen mow down family

KwaZulu-Natal has again come under the microscope as the home of assassins after four family members were shot dead. The family of eMfume, near Amanzimtoti on the south coast, were asleep early on Sunday when they fell under attack. 

The gunmen could have been four to five, according to family member Andile Ngidi. He escaped the shooting through a window and hid in nearby bushes. 

“I could not really see them, I only saw shadows as I feared for my life. I just heard my mother screaming my name and heard the terrible sounds of gunshots. I managed to escape through a window and ran for my life,” said the terrified survivor.

Although the motive for the heinous crime is not yet known, there allegations of witchcraft being at the centre of the mass murder. 

Ngidi’s mother Nomathemba Ngidi, 60, father Bhekizizwe Ngidi, 64, brother Thabani Ngidi, 33, and cousin Siphesihle Maphumulo, 19, died on the scene. Maphumulo is believed to have tried to flee through a window, but the hitmen followed and finished him off.

A visiting 19-year-old neighbour who was injured during the attack is currently fighting for her life in hospital. 

Call for stricter gun laws

The IFP, which is the main opposition party in the KZN legislature, on Tuesday called for stricter gun laws. The province has been identified as the country’s home of hired killers who also operate in other provinces.

“Authorities must conduct a thorough investigation into illegal arms syndicates. They must determine whether guns used by criminals are not smuggled into the province. It must also be established whether criminals do not collude with gun sellers to buy illegal firearms,” said Blessed Gwala, the IFP’s caucus leader in the provincial parliament. 

In April, during a legislature debate presented by the the provincial department of community safety and liaison, it emerged that because of the high unemployment rate, paid assassins were on the rise as people resort to desperate measures to make a living.

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