Eastern Cape police have made a breakthrough, arresting five suspects believed to have been masterminds behind the abduction and murder of a 51-year-old woman in Qumbu.
The woman was reportedly hijacked on 11 June at Tsitsa Bridge and her body was found several days later.
Among those arrested is believed to be her ex-husband who is a police officer stationed in Mthatha.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana, the arrests were made between Thursday and Friday following investigations after the woman's body was found.
"This breakthrough is a sequel to the incident where the victim, with her 22-year-old son, were coming from Mabaleni Locality Tina Falls to Qumbu, when their vehicle was blocked by a silver Polo with registration numbers ND4735 with two occupants.
"They were alleged to have pretended to be enquiring about something from her and afterwards pointed at her with a firearm and demanded money. It is further alleged that one of the suspects fired a shot towards the victim and grabbed her handbag with personal belongings and further dragged her to their vehicle," Kinana said in a statement.
During the scuffle, the woman's son was also assaulted and sustained injuries to the upper body.
According to reports by Daily Dispatch Live, the woman was a retired Eastern Cape legislator.
Kinana said the arrested suspects included two women - believed to be sisters and aged between 30 and 40 - a 55-year-old man who was found in possession of a 9mm pistol with rounds of ammunition in New Brighton in Mthatha, and the woman's 55-year-old ex-husband.
A 38-year-old man, believed to be a foreign national, was also arrested at Vulindlela Heights on Friday afternoon, said Kinana.
The suspects will appear in the Qumbu Magistrate's Court on Monday, facing charges of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and possession of an unlicensed firearm.
Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga expressed appreciation for the swift arrests.
"Whilst the SAPS prioritises every serious crime committed against the people, we however take serious exception to crimes committed against women and children. There is absolutely no excuse for those who inflict harm and kill women. Therefore, the law must take its course against gender-based violence," said Ntshinga.