“Good morning, I’m Michelle Robson and here is the news making today’s headlines. Gruesome murders took place last night in Edo-Mill township. Ten bodies were discovered near the bridge sites of Manzini. Police are adamant that the brutal deaths were caused by the gang called the Grizzly Bears. Our reporter Thembakazi Sobopha spoke to Lieutenant Jobela who, together with Sergeant Daliwe, was present at the scene …”

“As we speak, the police are investigating every possible lead. We are confident that we will put the culprits behind bars for good,” spoke Lieutenant Jobela firmly.

“Of course I agree with the Lieutenant,” Sergeant Daliwe added. “We appeal to the public to come forward with any information they have. We cannot live in fear while this gang runs around terrorising Edo-Mill township.”

“As we speak, police are working together to collect evidence at the scenes of last night’s murders,” Thembakazi Sobopha reported. “Residents of Manzini passing by the bridges this morning were alarmed when they saw the dead bodies. Some of the residents have also been questioned by the police in attempts to find witnesses. But if residents know something, they definitely are not speaking, fearing their lives at the hands of the gang. This is Thembakazi Sobopha in Edo-Mill township. Back to you, Michelle, in the studio.”

“Thank you, Thembakazi. I’m Michelle Robson and those were the latest headlines. The next news bulletin will follow at 10. Stay tuned for more ground-breaking developments.”

“Did you hear that?” asked Uncle Edward in shock as he turned down the volume on the radio. “Just yesterday two people were killed and now this?” He was furious.

News from the Buffalo Radio Station made me sick when the newsreader stated that 10 bodies were discovered down in Manzini.

Hayi, Uncle. It does not make sense. How is it possible?”

“Hey, Clifford,” Uncle replied, “you heard it for yourself, didn’t you? It was no April fool’s joke. There are 10 bodies lying dead in Manzini as we speak. Oh, Good Lord, what on earth has become of our world?”

Uncle sat on the couch with his forehead in his hands.

“Uncle, let’s just hope that the police will resolve the matter quickly, ” I said trying to console both him and myself.

“The what? The police, you say? Ha!” said Uncle, shaking his head. “Ja! It’s unlikely. Most of the police officers here in our township only excel in drinking large cases of beer and smoking marijuana till they lose both their precious lungs. We’ve got a reckless police pepartment here – sometimes I think the police are just as bad as the criminals.”

Although Uncle’s point seemed prejudiced, I half agreed with him. Before the Grizzly Bear Gang even came to our township, there was domestic violence and shoplifting in Edo Mill. In most urgent cases, the police officers would arrive late on the scene and they would be stupidly drunk.

Cases would remain unresolved and therefore end up being closed due to lack of evidence and police incompetence. Even before his death, Constable Mahlathi was well known by residents for his carelessness and public drinking, especially in the workplace.

He was not the only one, though. Police officers such as Banjo, Socawe, Madlebe, Raffael and Khandiza – all their stories were pretty much related; blacking out in the workplace and puffing grams of confiscated drugs kept in the police basement.

Not to say all of the police officers in our township are dirt, but as the saying goes, “One or two rotten apples kill a whole bag.”

It was hard, if not impossible for good cops like Lieutenant Jobela and Sergeant Daliwe to do their job. And the case was taking too long. They needed to bring the gang to book, before more innocent people were killed.