7 in court for killing girl, 6, aunt, 41

Johannesburg - Seven people accused of killing a 6-year-old girl and her 41-year-old aunt appeared briefly in two groups in the Hankey Magistrate's Court, Eastern Cape police said on Wednesday.

The first group of four, two men and two women, who were initially arrested on Sunday, appeared on Monday.

The court postponed the case to 11 August for further investigation, said Warrant Officer Basil Seekoei.

"On Monday three more suspects were arrested. They appeared in the same court yesterday [Tuesday] and will appear together with the other four on 11 August," Seekoei said.

All seven face charges of murder and arson.

Neighbours found the two bodies inside the aunt's house on Sunday morning and alerted police.

The group allegedly set the house alight after the murders, but neighbours managed to remove their bodies.

Police said the adult female was found with stab wounds to the upper body.

The 6-year-old was suspected to have been strangled.