A traditional healer and a pastor's son were among three people arrested in connection with the theft of a head from a grave in Makwassie, North West, last week, the Sowetan reported on Monday.

According to relatives of Ezekiel Motloung, who was buried on July 1, the three arrested after a tip-off were well known to them. They had attended Motloung's funeral and had been very helpful.

Two days after Motloung was buried, a municipal worker alerted the family that the grave had been tampered with. When they arrived at the grave with the police they found Motloung's head had been cut off.

At the time, police spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said the body was still in the coffin, but the head was missing.

Ngubane told the Sowetan they discovered a head in a bucket wrapped in plastic on the roof of the traditional healer's house.

The three were expected to appear in the Wolmaransstad Magistrate's Court on Monday. – Sapa