A pastor has been arrested for the murder of a three-year-old boy after his body parts were found at a church in Pongola, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Wednesday.
Police received information about a body at a church in Ncontshane and when they went there on Saturday they found a plastic bag containing body parts, said Captain Thulani Zwane.
"It is suspected that the parts were of a three-year-old boy who was reported missing on 2 July [the previous Wednesday] in the area," he said.
Some body parts of the child were still missing and police were searching for them.
A case of murder was opened. Zwane did not say when the pastor was arrested, or disclose the name of the church.
On Tuesday, angry community members set the church and a house alight.
Cases of public violence were opened, and 15 people were arrested, said Zwane.
Some of those arrested appeared in the Pongola Magistrate's Court and were remanded in custody until July 11 for their bail application. Two 17-year-old teenagers were released into their parents custody and told to attend the bail hearing.
The 51-year-old pastor was due to appear in the same court soon.
Zwane could not be reached for further information.
Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Mmamonnye Ngobeni urged the community to remain calm and allow the police to do its work.
"The community must not take the law into their own hands by destroying the property because they are putting the lives of innocent people in danger," she said.
"[The] community must stop this uncalled-for behaviour because crucial evidence in a murder case might be tampered with. Those who involved themselves in criminal activities will be arrested and charged accordingly."