Police arrest 13 for murder of four men gunned down in mystery Qumbu killings

Residents of Mbentse village in Qumbu are reeling in shock after four young men aged between 20 and 22 were found shot dead on Wednesday morning.
Residents of Mbentse village in Qumbu are reeling in shock after four young men aged between 20 and 22 were found shot dead on Wednesday morning.

Eastern Cape Police on Thursday arrested thirteen men aged between 29 and 67  following the murder of four men in Qumbu on Wednesday.

A 9mm pistol believed to have been used in the killing was confiscated from the suspects.

The bodies of the four victims, aged between 20 and 22, were discovered by a herdsman taking his cattle to a dipping tank at Mbentse village early on Wednesday.

“The four men were found with bullet wounds in their upper bodies today at Mbentse locality in Qumbu at about 7am,” police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said. “The men, from Luxeni locality in Qumbu, were discovered by a passer-by. He alerted the community to the gruesome discovery.”

Acting provincial police commissioner Major-General Andre Swart condemned the killings and urged detectives to work closely with the community. “No stone must be left unturned in pursuit of the killers,” Swart said.

When DispatchLIVE visited the village on Wednesday afternoon, a group of about 60 men sat near the crime scene as police forensic investigators combed the area for clues.

The bodies of the slain men lay two metres apart.

Qumbu station commander Colonel Mavela Feke urged villagers to assist them in tracing the killers.

“Tomorrow it could be your child. Let us all work together and ensure that those who killed these young men are arrested. Nobody has the right to kill others,” Feke said.

It is not the first time killings of such a brutal nature have occurred in Mbentse.

In January, popular horse owner and dog breeder Anele

Tomorrow it could be your child. Nobody has the right to kill others

Lutinto, 37, was gunned down in the driveway of his Mbentse home.

Two of his horses won three major horse races in the Eastern Cape late last year.

The motive for his killing is still unknown.

Lutinto had 35 children between the ages of one and 18.

Shortly afterwards, the village was terrorised by a gang of gunmen who burnt down two homesteads not far from Lutinto’s home.

In that attack, children and elderly people were assaulted as eight thugs went on a rampage, shooting randomly into buildings.

They arrived in two bakkies, police said.

Police collected empty cartridges from pistols, R4 rifles and AK47 assault rifles.

In April, another man was shot dead in the village.

Earlier this month, four men attacked a homestead with an AK47 and shotguns before fleeing with a lone chicken. They were later arrested.

The suspects are to appear at Qumbu Magistrate's court on Friday to face four counts of murder and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

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