Dawny Philile Mhlongo

DURBAN - The body of missing Durban woman was found in Isipingo last week. 

Police detectives are now working to piece together how Dawny Philile Mhlongo was murdered and her body dumped in an open field. 

Mhlongo was reported missing by her family last week after she failed to return home after work. According to a relative, Mhlongo had hired an e-hailing cab and was on her way home.

When she did not arrive home, her father became concerned and reported the matter to police. A missing person’s case was opened.

The relative, who did not want to be named, said Mhlongo’s body had been taken to a state mortuary and the family was informed on Thursday.

“We continued to search all along but her body was already at the mortuary,” the relative said.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane, said Mhlongo’s body was found in Isipingo, south of Durban.

“Her body had gunshot wounds and we suspect she was murdered somewhere else and then her body dumped in Isipingo,” Zwane said.

He said the missing person’s case will now change to murder. No arrests have been made as yet.

Mhlongo lived in Ntuzuma and managed a salon, which was contracted to Unilever in Durban north.

Unilever Corporate Affairs & Sustainable Business Director, Shobna Persadh, said the family informed Unilever of Mhlongo’s disappearance on Friday afternoon, last week.

"Executive Vice-President of Unilever South Africa, Luc-Olivier Marquet, had visited Dawny’s parents and sisters on Sunday," she said.

“We shall remember Dawny’s beautiful smile, her talent as a hairstylist, and the joy and lightness she brought to her friends and families’ lives," Marquet said.

Persadh said the company has counsellors available for the rest of this week to assist Unilever employees who knew Mhlongo well, to cope with the news of her tragic passing.

"Dawny leaves behind a 5- year old daughter – we extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to the Mhlongo family," she said.