THE community is demanding the release of two murder suspects they say are innocent.

Tobias Simelane (44) and Gertrude Ndubane (47) were arrested in connection with the murder of a local pastor, Bheki Malumane (36) and his nephew, Wonder Mbuyane (24).

Bheki and Wonder were burnt to death after a sangoma allegedly claimed they were responsible for the killing of two sisters aged five and six.

The bodies of the children were found in a ditch on 24 April after going missing the day before.

On Monday, residents of eMganduzweni, outside White River, Mpumalanga, barricaded roads and hijacked a bus to block the road, demanding the release of Simelane and Ndubane.

A resident said: “The person responsible must rot in jail. The police know very well they are innocent.”

A 22-year-old man believed to have been instrumental in the disappearance and murder of the young girls as well as that of a 20-year-old woman, Khensani Sambo, has since been arrested.

The suspect is reportedly related to the young girls. He claims to have taken the girls, but handed them over to others.

Simelane and Ndubane were expected to appear before the Masoyi Periodical Court yesterday.

Mpumalanga police spokesman Colonel Mtsholi Bhembe said police investigations are ongoing and more people are expected to be arrested.