Orgy of violence over festive week

Four hundred and forty-nine people were shot or stabbed to death in the Eastern Cape between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Of that number, 298 were killed during the Christmas weekend and 151 this past weekend.

The shocking statistics were revealed by provincial health department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo yesterday.

Kupelo said the Mthatha morgue had received the most bodies during the New Year’s weekend as 43 bodies were collected there.

It was followed by Aliwal North with 18 bodies, Butterworth with 16 and Komani 13.

Gelvandale Mortuary situated in close proximity to Port Elizabeth’s gangland, Helenvale, collected 12 bodies with either knife or bullet wounds over the new year.

Woodbrook in East London collected nine bodies.

In Lusikisiki and Port St Johns, 12 bodies were collected, while in Mdantsane and Bhisho, seven bodies were collected.

Kupelo said in Port Elizabeth’s New Brighton morgue, six bodies with either stab or gunshot wounds were brought in, while a combined 10 bodies were collected in PE’s Mount Road. Grahamstown. Mbizana and Flagstaff had four bodies while Graaf-Reinet had a single incident over the New Year’s Day weekend, Kupelo said.

Kupelo said in the Mthatha, Ngcobo, Qumbu, Tsolo, Libode and Ngqeleni areas, 73 people had been violently killed over the Christmas weekend.

Kupelo said 23 people had been killed in Komani on that weekend, while 37 died in the Butterworth area, 24 in Mbizana, 20 in Grahamstown and 18 in Aliwal North.

Gelvandale saw a Christmas killing spree that left 18 people dead. A further seven were killed in New Brighton, 11 in Mount Road, eight in Graaf Reinet and 13 in Lusikisiki.

In Mdantsane, 11 killings were reported in the period, while 19 died in the Bhisho area.

Sixteen bodies with gunshots or stab wounds, were admitted at the Woodbrook mortuary in East London. He said in the Mthatha area, 31 bodies were collected over the Christmas weekend, while doctors at East London’s Frere Hospital had their hands full on Monday with a stream of people with stab wounds.

Kupelo said at Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha, between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, 300 trauma cases were dealt with, five of them fatal.

lThe unofficial number of people who died on Eastern Cape roads over the festive season now exceeds 100. The latest deaths to have occurred are four people who died on New Year’s Day in two separate accidents – one in Sterkspruit and one in Jeffreys Bay.

Provincial transport spokeswoman Khuselwa Rantjie yesterday said the first accident occurred on the R726 road in Sterkspruit, near Thabalitshuba location when two vehicles collided head-on.

In Jeffreys Bay, a driver died on Monday after he lost control of his vehicle which later overturned on the R102 road.

According to Rantjie, preliminary reports indicate that drinking and driving might have been a contributing factor in both accidents.

In another accident on New Year’s Day, Rantjie said, 33 people, including seven children, were treated for injuries when a 22-seater taxi collided with a bakkie in Port Elizabeth. — asandan@dispatch.co.za

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