WHEN tenants and neighbours noticed a bad smell coming from the house, they assumed it was a dead rat.
But they were horrified when it emerged on Monday that the bodies of four children and three women had been found rotting inside the house.
Lewis Khoza, a tenant at the house in Vlakfontein, south of Joburg, told Daily Sun he suspected something was wrong because a terrible smell had been coming from the house for a week.
“We asked a boy who lives in the house if there were any dead rats or whether someone had put rat poison in the house,” he said.
Lewis said he offered to help the child look for the rat but he refused, saying he could do it by himself.
He said he saw the boy spraying cleaning liquids to get rid of the smell and mopping outside.
Lewis said he went to work and later returned to find police at the house.
As the house was declared a crime scene, he had to find somewhere else to sleep.
Police spokesman Captain Mavela Masondo said cops responded to a complaint about the smell.
“On arrival, police found a pile of sand in the bedroom. A woman and three children were found underneath the sand. Police proceeded to a back room in the same yard where two women and a child were found buried under sand,” he said.
Neighbour Zanele Mzimango said she didn’t notice anything odd at the house.
“The only strange thing was that the woman who lives in the house didn’t show up for a funeral in the area.”
Masondo said a man who lived with the victims had been taken in for questioning and cops were looking for a second man.