burnt body found in car

KWAZULU-NATAL police will carry out forensic tests on human remains found in a burnt-out car in the Empangeni area to determine if the victim is a local councillor.

A charred body, believed to be that of Port Dunford ward councillor Bheka Mthiyane, was found in a gutted car in the Ndaya Reserve on Monday.

Mthiyane, 52, had been missing for about a week and his family had turned to the police for help last Friday.

"On Monday, a group of young boys playing in the veld came across a burnt-out Toyota Corolla in an isolated area of the Ndaya Reserve in Esikhawini.

The find was reported to the local police, who went to the scene to investigate. They made the grisly discovery of the burnt-out human remains in what would have been the back seat of the car.

Provincial police spokes-person Director Phindile Radebe said forensic tests would be carried out soon to confirm if the victim was in fact Mthiyane.

Meanwhile, the Dundee magistrate's court has postponed to March 3 a public violence case against 38 people arrested during violent protests in Sibongile township on Monday and Tuesday.

The reason for the postponement was to allow enough time for the investigation and the state said it believed more people were still to be arrested.

Residents, mainly youths, went on the rampage and wreaked havoc by blocking roads with burning tyres and huge stones.

They were complaining about corruption and nepotism and demanded that MEC for local government Nomusa Dube appoint an administrator to run the affairs of the eNdumeni municipality.

During the protests 10 police vans and municipal vehicles were damaged. A policeman was seriously injured when officers were pelted with stones.