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Four suspects nabbed for Bityi murders, four firearms confiscated


Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner Eastern Cape

BITYI - The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene has appreciated the work of the detectives in the Eastern Cape who made a breakthrough in the cold-blooded killings of seven family members in their home in Tantseka Location, Sithebe Administrative Area in Bityi. 

On Wednesday night the 16 November 2022 at about 23:30, four (04) unknown armed men forced their way into the homestead and opened fire. It was alleged at the time that six (06) people succumbed to their injuries at the scene, while the seventh victim died in hospital. Circumstances surrounding the incident are still under investigation. The victims are family relatives aged between 29 and 68, who were in mourning and arranging for the burial of their relative, Novotile Mgxada (62), who was fatally shot the previous week.

During the investigation on Monday, 28 November 2022, the team of investigators received information that two suspects were going to appear at Bityi Magistrate court on charges relating to possession of unlicensed firearm. Subsequently, one suspect who led the police to others who were hiding at Slovo Park was arrested. On seeing the police, the suspects at Slovo Park started firing shots at the police who retaliated.

During the exchange of gunfire, two suspects suffered injuries and were transported to a nearby hospital for medical attention. One suspect was also arrested during the shooting incident and this brought the number of the arrested suspects to four. Four firearms and an imitation firearm were confiscated from the suspects and will be sent to the ballistic unit for forensic testing. The suspects are believed to have been responsible for the shooting of seven (7) family members who died in Tantseka village.

Two of the arrested suspects have already appeared in Mthatha Magistrate Court on Tuesday,29 November 2022 on charges relating to possession of unlicensed firearms. The case is remanded to 09 December 2022 for a formal bail hearing. All four suspects aged between 24 and 28 are expected to appear in Bityi magistrate court on the Wednesday, 30 November 2022 on charges of murder.  

Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene has expressed gratitude to the community for supporting the work of the police during the investigations. Police investigation continues to establish the motive for the killings.


Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana
082 301 7699