A man from Wyebank, near Durban, is being hunted by police after he allegedly killed his stepdaughter, Ayakha Jiyane and hung her three half-siblings in their family home.
The 16-year-old Pinetown Girls High pupil was reportedly kidnapped from school around 3pm on Tuesday and found hanging from a tree in New Germany that evening.
The suspect, Sibusiso Mpungose also hung his own three children, aged 4, 6 and 10 years.
The reason for the killing
The wife, who is a teacher, told media that they had an intense argument on Monday evening and she was concerned he might do something drastic.
They left home together on Tuesday morning and Mpungose said he would find his own place to stay and move out.
She stopped at the police station en route to work and reported the incident.
She was allegedly in the process of divorcing him and it is thought that he killed the children out of spite.
The gruesome discovery
The wife was in the process of shopping for padlocks when she received a call from the children’s school informing her that the father had collected them. This was unusual as they usually travelled with school transport.
After rushing to the school and discovering the children were gone the woman went to the police station to request they accompany her to the family home.
While on the way, she called a neighbour to ask if the children were home.
The neighbour had seen the children going into the house and loud music was playing. She was unable to gain access to the property as the gate was locked.
On arrival with the police, the lock was broken and they found two of the children hanging in one room while another was hanging in a separate room.
The mother then rushed to the high school to fetch her daughter from a previous relationship, but was told she had already been fetched by her stepfather.
A manhunt is underway
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele told media that a case of murder has been opened in Pinetown
It has not been confirmed that the man is the murderer but he is their prime suspect and an intense search is underway to establish his whereabouts.