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Anger over arrest of suspects in church burning

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Johannesburg -

The Ncotshane Magistrate's Court in Pongola was torched by residents following the arrest of 15 people for setting alight a church where body parts were found, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Thursday.

“It is suspected a petrol bomb was used,” Captain 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.”

The court torching happened at around 7pm on Wednesday.

No arrests had been made yet. A case of arson was opened.

The 15 were arrested for setting alight a church, where some of the body parts of a three-year-old boy were found in a plastic bag on Saturday. A house had also been torched.

Police said some body parts were missing and they began a search for it. A 51-year-old pastor was arrested for the murder of the boy, who went missing on July 2.

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

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

The woman's house was the one set alight by residents. She was not injured, and a case of arson was opened.

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

Some of the arrested people appeared in the Pongola Magistrate's Court earlier this week 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. - Sapa


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