Search underway after eight people killed in Eastern Cape on Christmas Day

The South African Police Service (SAPS) said in a statement on Saturday evening, 26 December 2020, that a search is underway after the killing of eight people on Christmas Day.

Search for Eastern Cape suspects

Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga led the search party and scoured the mountains around Mpheni Village. The killings are reportedly linked to clashes between two groups in the area.

“All forces are on the ground in search of other suspects believed to have been involved in the fierce fighting between the two groups”.

On 25 December 2020, a clash over local taxi routes between two rivalling groups broke out when ten men from Mpheni village attacked another group from Nokhatshile village.

Linked to taxi association groups

At the time, provincial government spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha told the media that seven men were killed and six were rushed to a nearby hospital as per their investigation.

Sicwetsha added that “members of the South African police have been dispatched to the scene to conduct investigations so that they can get to the bottom of this crime”.

Acting national commissioner Lieutenant-General Sindile Mfazi warned residents that the “area is still tense” but confirmed that reinforcements were dispatch to keep the peace.

Assist investigation

Mfazi urged the residents in the Mount Ayliff and surrounding districts “to exercise maximum restraint and to assist police in their investigations to bring those responsible for these attacks to book”.

Authorities are calling with anyone who may have information pertaining to the whereabouts of the suspect to inform their nearest police station or call the Crime Stop hotline number on 086 00 10111.

Acting National Commissioner Lieutenant General Sindile Mfazi said on Christmas Day that all potential informants’ information will be treated with the strictest confidence. Callers may remain anonymous if they choose.

93b01019 eastern cape town eight people dead - Search underway after eight people killed in Eastern Cape on Christmas Day
Image supplied: SAPS

This incident follows after members of the South African Police Service arrested 1 117 people for a number of crimes over the festive season.

Authorities also clamped down on livestock theft, which is particularly rife during the festive season. Officers recovered 41 cattle, 22 goats and 19 sheep, while 23 suspected stolen vehicles were also confiscated.

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