The vehicle was driving to Mthatha area with a female corpse on Monday coming from a local funeral parlour.
According to the department of health spokesman, Sizwe Kupelo the vehicle was transporting a corpse to the forensic pathology laboratory in Mthatha.
Kupelo said the driver claimed to have stopped to relieve himself on the side of the road when the unknown assailants pounced on him.
“The Ford Ranger bakkie with registration number plate GGZ 570 EC was hijacked,” said Kupelo.
The bakkie was found on Tuesday morning, overturned with the corpse still inside in the same vicinity.
“Until all the facts have been established, the circumstances surrounding the alleged hijacking are now being investigated by the police. We would like to thank the police crime intelligence unit for speedily finding the department’s vehicle and the corpse,” added Kupelo.
He said the autopsy is being done on the deceased body.
“The law must now take its course and as such, we will await the police to finish their investigation into the matter.”
Kupelo added the department will offer counselling to the driver after the traumatic ordeal that he experienced.
“We are happy that no one was harmed in the incident. The suspects must be treated as being very dangerous so people should not try arrest them themselves.
Police spokeswoman Captain Dineo Koena said a case of theft of motor vehicle was opened.
“After an intensive investigation and chase by police, the vehicle with the deceased body, the two driver’s cellphones and a wallet was found in the same vicinity at about 00h45,” said Koena.
All stakeholders were summoned to the scene and fingerprints were lifted to investigate any foul play, DailySun reports.
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