Pongola murder suspect due in court

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Johannesburg -

The 23-year-old man arrested in connection with the murder of a Pongola boy was allegedly the last person to be seen with him, the KwaZulu-Natal Community Safety Department said on Sunday.

The suspect was allegedly identified by some children, said MEC Willies Mchunu in a statement.

He was arrested on Thursday and would appear in the Pongola Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Captain Thulani Zwane said he faced kidnapping and murder charges. The chopped-up remains of four-year-old Kiki Ntuli were found in a plastic bag at a church on June 6.

“The suspect was also linked to another kidnapping and assault where a five-year-old boy was kidnapped in the same area in June 2014,” said Zwane.

The pastor of the church was initially arrested for Ntuli's murder. He was later released without being charged.

On Sunday, Zwane said the pastor was in hospital.

“The priest was found in the boot of his car on Friday. We do not have further details, police are waiting for him to recover so we can get the details,” said Zwane.

Forensic specialists who probed the 51-year-old pastor's property found more bones on July 11. Police also discovered a skull and skeleton at a woman's house in Ncotshane.

Police said it was unclear whether those bones were linked to the Ntuli case or whether they were those of a human being.

The bones were taken for forensic testing.

A few days after the boy's corpse was found, angry Pongola residents went on the rampage and torched the pastor's church and the woman’s house.

Fifteen people were arrested on charges of violence and were scheduled to appear in the Ncotshane Magistrate's Court. The court, however, was petrol-bombed.

The group later appeared in the Pongola Magistrate's Court, where they were released on a warning. Their case was postponed to July 28.

On Sunday, Mchunu commended the Pongola community for working with police.

He called for them to refrain from taking the law into their own hands again. - Sapa


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