AXE stuck in forehead

Masoka Dube and Sibongile Mashaba

Masoka Dube and Sibongile Mashaba

A Mpumalanga taxi owner who went missing last week was found buried in a shallow grave inside his house on Saturday morning.

The body of the 41-year-old Richard Mkhabela of Block B near Komatipoort was exhumed by the police.

Tonga police spokesman Constable Mzwandile Nyambi told Sowetan that Mkhabela went missing last week and the residents and fellow taxi drivers initially launched an unsuccessful search for him.

"When they could not find him they went to his home," Nyambi said. "The door and windows were locked, so they peered through the window and saw blood smeared on the floor.

"Our investigations showed that Mkhabela was killed in the sitting room and dragged to the kitchen, where he was buried."

"He had been killed with an axe that was left stuck in his forehead."

Nyambi said the axe found at the scene and other evidence would be taken for forensic tests.

He said the motive for the killing was unknown but could not rule out the possibility that the killing was linked to the ongoing taxi violence in the country.

Police are still investigating.