One of the two South Coast men suspected of killing five women in the Mthwalume area was found hanging in the police holding cells on Monday morning.
The two were arrested on Friday in connection with the gruesome murder of the women and dumping their bodies in a sugarcane field and a nearby bush between April and August.
The last two of the five bodies were found last week.
Area community policing forum chairperson Lucky Bhuyeni said they were shocked to hear that the man was found hanging in the police cells on Monday morning.
“This is a terrible blow for the families because he had not given much details on how and why they committed these heinous crimes. Who else was involved in this because there is suspicion that more people are involved in this,” he said.
“It is also strange that he would be found hanging after he had given certain information to the investigators when he was arrested. Could there be foul play in this death? Are they scared of the masterminds of these murders? We have many questions and few answers, hence the need for tight security measures around the surviving suspect. He must be guarded around the clock,” Bhuyeni said.
He said on Saturday the surviving suspect had tried to kill himself by swallowing crushed bottles but was rushed to the hospital.
“He survived and a suicide note was found. He was apologising for what he has done and gave other details which cannot be divulged at this stage,” he said.
He said as community leaders they will be meeting with the police management for a briefing on these developments.
IFP Ugu chairperson Sfundo Ngwane said they were also shocked to learn that one of the suspects had committed suicide.
“We’re calling on the police to guard the remaining suspect around the clock because there will be no justice for the victims if the perpetrators do not face the law. We also wish that the police could work swiftly to arrest whoever else was involved in these murders,” Ngwane said.
The remaining suspect is expected to appear in the area Magistrate Court this morning.