Memorial service for murdered South Coast nurse Nelisa Cele will take place on Thursday. Picture: Supplied

Durban - Loved ones of murdered nurse Nelisa Cele will gather for a memorial service on Thursday. 

The 31-year-old nurse's body was found halfway down a cliff at Oribi Gorge by a birdwatching tourist on Friday, September 7. 

Cele who was six months pregnant was last seen leaving home to finalise a car deal when she went missing.

Police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala, said the body was discovered on Friday morning and showed signs of severe assault. 

"Initially, the body had been removed and registered at the mortuary as that of an unknown person. Following a frantic search of the nurse by her family at various hospitals in Ugu District since her disappearance, they ended up at SAPS Paddock, where they received confirmation that an unknown body had been found and taken to a local mortuary. They then went to the mortuary, where their worst fears were confirmed."

KZN MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo expressed his condolences to Cele’s family. 

According to a statement by the Department of Health. it is believed that Cele’s killers had tried to throw the body down the cliff in the hope that it would never be found. But the body got stuck on tree branches.

“The murder of a healthcare worker is always a sad day for us because these are people who are tasked to do the Lord’s work, which is to save lives and bring healing to those who are ailing. 

"These incidents are therefore extremely concerning. There is just no place for brutal incidents such as this one in our society. It is unacceptable, and we call on law enforcement authorities to do everything in their power to bring the responsible person(s) to book. 

"We send our deepest condolences to the family at this difficult time, and would also like to urge anyone who might have information regarding this murder to come forward and alert law enforcement authorities,” said Dhlomo.

Cele will be buried on Saturday.