Johannesburg -

A woman has been found dead with her breasts and genitals cut off behind a tavern in Swartruggens, North West police said on Monday.

A passerby found the woman’s body in bushes behind the tavern, near the Swartruggens shopping complex, on Sunday afternoon, said Captain Pelonomi Makau.

The woman, who was aged between 26 and 30, was found wearing only a T-shirt.

“Her face was smashed with a stone... Her breasts were cut off and her private parts slightly cut with an unknown sharp instrument,” Makau said.

Her stomach had also been cut open.

North West Premier Thandi Modise expressed shock at the gruesome murder.

“We wish to condemn in the strongest terms possible the horrendous act that resembles a muti killing,” she said in a statement. - Sapa