The men, apparently wearing blankets and from Lesotho, stormed a night vigil around 01:30, opening fire on a tent full of singing mourners, said Brigadier Sam Makhele. A group of armed men killed four people in two separate shootings in Meqheleng, Ficksburg, on Saturday morning, Free State police said.
“A 60-year-old man was killed as well as a female who was asleep in her house and was hit by a stray bullet,” he said. Six people were rushed to hospital with multiple gunshot wounds.
Just an hour later, armed men entered the yard of a house in the same area and started shooting randomly. Two men, aged 33 and 38, were shot dead, while two others sustained gunshot wounds to the lower backs.
“Neighbours called the police but on arrival [the] suspects had already disappeared in the dark heading towards Lesotho border,” said Makhele.
The town is just a few kilometres from the border. A team comprising detectives, crime intelligence, technical response team officers and the public order police, has been established to hunt down the gunmen.
“Our team will work around the clock to make sure that we bring to book these heartless monsters,” said Acting Provincial Police Commissioner, Major General Solly Lesia.
Anyone with information can contact Detective Colonel Eketsang Kholoane on 082-301-9578 or contact Crime Stop on 0860010111.