KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC, Nonhlanhla Khoza, wants law enforcement to take urgent action after a social worker was hijacked at gunpoint at the Social Development offices in Eshowe, last Thursday.
The social worker was assisting survivors of the Khumalo family massacre with psychosocial services after the shooting of six members at their Eshowe home.
The suspect in the shooting is a social worker based at the Ongoye office in Esikhaleni and is said to be related to the family he brutally massacred.
He has appeared at Inkanyezi Magistrate Court and the matter was adjourned to 5 March 2021.
However on Thursday, 25 February, the social worker who had been dispatched to assist the surviving family members was hijacked before handing over the matter to his colleagues at the Inanda office, and had not yet completed his assignment.
“We did not expect that a social worker can be involved in such a horrific incident that wiped out a family. At this stage, we don’t know what could have led to such an incident, but we want to give assurance to the Khumalo family that government feels their pain and will support them throughout their painful journey.
“It is equally painful that we assigned one of our social workers to provide support to some family members, who were moved to Inanda after the horrendous incident, and was hijacked.
“[The assigned social worker] was supposed to hand over the matter to his colleagues at the Inanda office but was hijacked at gunpoint on the premises before completing his assignment,” Khoza said.
The deceased, including two pensioners – Christopher (70) and his wife Octavia (63), Mbali (29), Thabo (10), Sinothile (18) and eight-year-old Langelihle Sigampu, were gunned down while watching television in the lounge.
The suspect allegedly stormed into the Khumalo homestead on Saturday, 20 February and opened fire. He was later arrested in Greytown last week Monday. According to media reports, a family dispute is said to be at the centre of the massacre.