The 16-year-old who was found hanged in a bush in New Germany

Police have successfully arrested the father who had been on the run since Tuesday, after he allegedly hanged his four children. KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbhele confirmed that the 44-year-old man has been arrested. “The suspect was arrested in KwaDabeka, west of Durban and he will face four counts of murder.

It is alleged that on Tuesday, the bodies of three siblings aged four, six and 10 were discovered hanged at their home in Wybank. The fourth child, 16, who was not the father’s biological daughter was not among the bodies and was later discovered hanging on a tree, in a bush, in New Germany on the same night.

It is suspected that the father and mother of four are in the process of a divorce which may be the reason the children were killed. Police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said, “The 16 year-old-girl was last seen with her father after he fetched her from school in Durban. A search was also conducted and her body was found hanging in the bushes in New Germany. Police are still searching for the suspect. A murder case has been opened in Pinetown”.

The children’s mother, a teacher, left her Wyebank home for work in the morning, with her husband saying he was going to find another place to live. On her way to work, she stopped at the police station to report an argument they had the night before. The mother told the officers the argument had been “intense” and, suspect that something “bad” might happen, she needed to alert the police. Later, while shopping for new padlocks, she received a call from her children’s school, saying that their father had come to fetch them. The school called her because the children had always used school transport and had never been fetched by their parents. It is alleged that when she heard that, she rushed to the school, but the children had already gone. She then drove back to the police station and asked officers to accompany her. She then called a neighbour to check if the children were home, this was around 3pm.

According to the neighbour, the children were already home. The neighbour said she saw them getting into the house and then heard loud music being played. However, the gate was locked and she was unable to get into the house. She then called the mother and updated her on the developments. A few minutes later, the mother arrived with the police, who broke the lock on the gate and got in. They found two children murdered in one room
and the third in another room. The four-year-old was still in crèche, the six-year-old in Grade R and the 10-year-old was in Grade 5. After the gruesome discovery, it is alleged that the mother rushed to fetch her eldest child from school, but was told that her stepfather had already fetched her.

According to neighbours, the couple seemed to be in a loving relationship and the incident was a great shock. They described the husband as a humble, polite, quiet person. The suspect will be appearing in court soon.