A 21-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the gruesome murders of five family members in Namahadi, Qwaqwa, on Sunday.

A 11-month-old baby was also hit with a knobkerrie during the incident, but he survived the attack.

The suspect was arrested on Wednesday at about 19.30 in Mphatlalatsane, Qwaqwa.

Free State police spokesperson, Colonel Thandi Mbambo said an integrated team of investigators was appointed to investigate murders and they worked round the clock to trace the culprits.

“Within the 72 hours threshold given by the Acting Provincial Commissioner of Free State, Major General Solly Lesia, a breakthrough was made on Wednesday the 7 April 2021.

“The suspect will appear in Phuthaditjhaba Magistrate Court on Friday the 9 April 2021 on charges of murder, arson and attempted murder.

Mbambo further said “We are expecting to make more arrests soon.”

She said they had received a report that people had been killed in Marakong village, QwaQwa, on April 4 at about 3am.

“In another house, the bodies of a mother, Relebohile Lemeko, 48, her daughter Masabata Lemeko, 25, and son, Tatolo Lemeko, 22, were found burnt inside a shack, while the 11-month-old grandson was allegedly hit with a knobkierie on the nose and is currently receiving medical attention at a local hospital.”

She said four children managed to escape in the second attack and reported the incidents to a relative, who then informed the police and rushed the child to hospital.

Mbambo added that the motive for the killing was not yet known.