Residents who torched church out on warning

2014-07-11 13:15

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Johannesburg - Fifteen Pongola residents, arrested for public violence after torching a church where the body parts of a child were found, have been released on warning, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Friday.

The group appeared in the Pongola Magistrate's Court on Thursday for setting alight the church and a house on Saturday.

"It was postponed for further investigation. They were released on a warning, and told to re-appear on 28 July," said Captain Thulani Zwane.

Some of the body parts of a 3-year-old boy were found in a plastic bag at the church on Saturday. The boy went missing on 2 July.

A 51-year-old pastor was arrested for the murder of the boy, but has not yet been charged.
Police began a search for parts of the boy that were missing.

During the search, a skull and skeleton were found at a woman's house in Ncotshane on Tuesday. The woman's house was the one set alight by residents. She was not injured, and a case of arson was opened.

Zwane said police were awaiting forensic results on the skeleton.

On Wednesday, the Ncotshane Magistrate's Court in Pongola was torched by residents over the arrest of the 15.

Police suspected that a petrol bomb was used.

No arrests were made, and a case of arson was opened.

After the incident, acting KwaZulu-Natal community safety MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo requested the court to hear the case against the 15 on Thursday instead of Friday.

Zwane could not say whether the case was brought forward because of the request.
- SAPA
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime
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