ANC condemns burning of church, house

2014-07-10 20:14


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Johannesburg - The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday condemned the burning a house, a church, and a court building in Ncotshane, Pongola, after a boy's body was found at the church.

"The ANC... condemns in the strongest terms possible the ongoing destruction of private and public property in Pongola," the party's provincial treasurer Peggy Nkonyeni said in a statement.

"Our disappointment is that the violence occurred after the leader of the church had already been arrested in connection with the horrific discovery."

On Wednesday around 19:00 residents torched the Ncotshane Magistrate's Court in Pongola. This followed the arrest of 15 people for setting alight a church where the boy's dismembered body was found, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Thursday.

"It is suspected a petrol bomb was used," police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said.

"It is further suspected that it [the court] was set alight by angry community members regarding the arrest of 15 people for public violence."

Parts of the boy, who went missing on 2 July, were found in a plastic bag in the church on Saturday. Police were searching for the missing limbs.

A 51-year-old pastor was arrested for the boy's murder.

Zwane said during the police search, a skull and skeleton were found at a woman's house in Ncotshane on Tuesday.

It is not clear yet if the skeleton belonged to the body parts found in the church.

"The recovered bones were taken for analysis to establish if they were of a human being or not," he said.

Residents set her house alight. She was not injured, and a case of arson was opened.

Some of those arrested appeared in the Pongola Magistrate's Court earlier this week and would remain in custody until their bail application on 11 July.

Two teenagers, both 17, were released into their parents' custody and told to attend the bail hearing.

The ANC said a tuck shop had also been set alight in the area, but police could not confirm this.

"The ANC reiterates its condemnation of the despicable killing of a small boy and we send our deepest condolences to the family and friends," Nkonyeni said.

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