Murder probe confirmed as sixth body found in Mtwalume - community angry with police minister

Police are investigating a case of murder after a sixth body was discovered in Mtwalume. File picture.
Police are investigating a case of murder after a sixth body was discovered in Mtwalume. File picture.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The discovery of a sixth body in Mtwalume, on KwaZulu-Natal’s south coast, has again left women in the area feeling unsafe and questioning promises made by the police minister.

The charred remains were discovered by people on their way to work in the early hours of Saturday morning. Community police forum chairperson Lucky Bhuyeni told SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE on Monday that the body was discovered in the same vicinity as that of Nelisiwe Dube who was found in July.

“The body was burnt beyond recognition, covered in plastic. At this stage we cannot say whether it is a male or female. Indications are that this person was killed elsewhere, the body was burnt and then dumped on the roadside. Police are investigating a case of murder,” SAPS spokesperson Brig Jay Naicker said on Saturday.

Naicker told TimesLIVE on Monday that police were investigating a case of murder and that one woman had been reported missing on August 28 in the area.

“The body has not been positively identified. A postmortem will be conducted to confirm whether it is a female or male. DNA testing will also be done to assist in the identification,” said Naicker.

Hlengiwe Gambushe, a community member, said that they were still living in fear and that there was no sign of the visible policing members that police minister Bheki Cele said would be brought to the area during his visit on August 15.

“We are afraid because we thought Khomo’s death would bring us peace. Bheki Cele made empty promises. If there were police patrolling, they would have seen the burnt body,” said Gambushe.

Two men were arrested in connection with the murders but on the day they were to appear in court news broke that Mduduzi Khomo, who was fingered as the main suspect, had allegedly committed suicide in police custody.

Khomo allegedly confessed to the murders of Akhona Gumede, 25, Nosipho Gumede, 16, Nelisiwe Dube, 22, Zama Chiliza, 38, and an unidentified woman in her 20s.

The second suspect was released due to insufficient evidence against him.

KZN premier Sihle Zikalala as well as transport, community safety and liaison MEC Bheki Ntuli, social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza and provincial police commissioner Lt Gen Khombinkosi Jula are expected to visit the families of the women on Tuesday.