A teenager is expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday charged with the murders of five family members.

According to Brigadier Jay Naicker, KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, the five were shot dead on August 26 at their home in Taylor’s Halt near Pietermaritzburg.

The deceased were identified as Dingeni, 70, Zodwa, 61,Thobeka, 24, Sphelele, 12, and 16-month-old Thandolwethu Nxele.

Naicker said murder and attempted murder charges were laid at the Taylor’s Halt SAPS.

The Provincial Investigation Unit tasked by Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula made the breakthrough and arrested the 19-year-old on November 10.

The Provincial Commissioner welcomed the arrest. He said “This breakthrough is very positive and we are confident that more arrests can be expected as the investigation progresses”.

During August, eight people were killed in Taylor’s Halt in two separate incidents.

Jula condemned the murders at the time and said they could have happened because of a long-standing feud in the community. He said “We once again appeal to our communities to refrain from using violence to address conflicts”.

At the time, Jula said they had visited the area and were “disturbed by what we heard”.

“I have instructed additional deployments to be brought into the area immediately to deal with rampant criminality there. I have also directed that a dedicated investigation team hit the ground running and work non- stop until the culprits responsible for these callous murders are brought to book.”