By Masilo Malakwane
HARRISMITH – The bloodshed that took place on Saturday, 07 August in the Twala family in Toekoms farm outside Makholokoeng has been described as a miserable tragedy.
This follows the brutal murder of a father, his wife and his three children. The deceased, including a six -year-old, had multiple stab wounds. It is alleged that a traditional healer, who had an appointment with the family, made the gruesome discovery and called the neighbour.
Mabuti Piet Twala, younger brother of Mgwenika Twala said it is a heart-breaking to lose five family members in such a tragic way.
He also believes this tragedy has compromised his family heredity.
“He was our last hope to carry the family name forward and spread it, but his untimely passing has forced his entire house to be shut down completely. It is very disheartening, “he said.
The Premier of Free State Sefora Ntombela has condemned as ‘satanic’ the gruesome murder of five family members at Toekoms farm near Harrismith last Saturday.
During her visit to the household on Monday Ntombela said : “What has happened here is very painful and scary. In the Free State murders like this are not common. There is no way a father, a mother and their children can be killed in this fashion. This is pure Satanism. Only one child who was at boarding school survived. I can’t imagine how this child is going to get over this ordeal.”
She also promised that police have been instructed to do everything in their ability to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.
“Police are already on the ground to ensure that those responsible for this murders are arrested. This is extremely heart-wrenching; no matter how you can hate a person, killing innocent children is cruel.”
The King of Makholokoe tribe, Paulos Moloi, who had accompanied the Premier beliefs such killings were motivated by anger and inhuman, the community should self-introspect and seek guidance through ancestral traditions.
“We should go back to the old ways of loving your neighbour like yourself, such behaviour cannot be tolerated,” he pleaded.
On the other hand, Ntombifuthi Hlophe who also reside on the farm said they are living in fear and appealing to the police to show up at least at night in their farm since it is very dark.
“We are still in shock and we are fearing for our lives, since the murder of our neighbour. We’ve been living here without electricity for over three decades now, but as you can see the electricity poles are right in front of our yard” she said.
The lifeless bodies of Mgwenika John Twala, his wife Sonto Maloka and their children Zama Maloka, Mfanafuthuli Justine Maloka and six-year old Nompilo Emily Maloka, were discovered by a traditional healer, who had gone to the household for consultation.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele says the traditional healer noticed that the door was not locked and then knocked.
“After waiting outside for a while without a response from inside, he pushed the door and was greeted by the lifeless bodies of the deceased. He immediately alerted police.”
Makhele said the bodies of 47-year old Twala and his wife who is in her 40s lay next to each other and had multiple stab wounds.
Their 16-year old son and six-year old sister were also recovered in the same room while the fifth deceased – a 23-year old son who was sleeping in a separate room, was also found lying on the floor.
He said so far no one has been arrested in connection with the multiple murders; the motive of the murder is yet to be established.
Executive Mayor of Maluti-a-Phofung Masetjhaba Lakaje Mosia said she was saddened by the brutal death of the five family members.
“We are dismayed as the leadership of Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality. This is the second murder in recent times in our area. A woman was recently shot dead by her own husband.”
This is not the first time a whole family is mowed down in this manner. In April this year, a family of five were murdered at Marakong village in the eastern Free State.