The woman whose body was dumped at the basement parking in Vincent Park shopping centre on Thursday has been identified as a senior manager in Amathole District Municipality (ADM), Thandi Mlambo.
Mlambo, 63, was a divisional administrator at ADM, which is based in Chiselhurst, East London.
The Dispatch has heard a number of stories about how the the body was dumped but Eastern Cape police remained tight-lipped about that, as well as the cause of death and circumstances surrounding the mysterious event.
However, Vincent Park manager Joseph Parsley said Mlambo had apparently been strangled to death.
Health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo declined to comment but Parsley said pathologists and police had updated him since the incident happened at his mall, shocking and upsetting his festive-season shoppers who saw the body lying close to their cars.
“The pathologist confirmed that the woman died from injuries caused by strangulation. He said she had visible marks on the neck.”
Parsley said although the gruesome discovery was made by a horrified customer at 11.30am on Thursday, the postmortem report had revealed that Mlambo died between 2am and 3am, which was eight hours earlier.
Yesterday the Mlambo family asked the Dispatch to allow the family to mourn in private.
The Dispatch was asked to leave the family’s Vincent home where a delegation from ADM, led by municipal manager Thandekile Mnyimba, had converged to pay their respects.
The family spokesman, Mlambo’s son Mbuyiselo Mlambo, said: “The police are still investigating the case so we don’t want to say anything that might jeopardise it.”
Mlambo’s body was found in the mall about 200m from her Frere Road home in Vincent.
In a statement to the Dispatch yesterday, Mnyimba said Mlambo last reported for duty on Wednesday, a day before she was found dead.
Mnyimba said: “Law enforcement agencies are currently looking into the circumstances that led to her tragic passing.”
Police spokesman Captain Nkosikho Mzuku said the cause of death was still unknown.
Mzuku said: “Cambridge detectives are hard at work following all possible leads.”
Mnyimba described Mlambo as one of the longest-serving employees of the district municipality.
He said: “We have learned with greatest shock and sadness of the mysterious passing of Ms Thandi Mlambo.
“On behalf of the leadership, management and staff of the ADM, I would like to extend our earnest condolences to the bereaved Mlambo family and all those affected by her passing.
“May her soul rest in eternal peace and rise in glory.”
Mnyimba said the memorial and funeral arrangements would be announced in due course.
“The actual cause of death still unknown, and the investigation is under way.”
No arrests have been made as yet, as police are following leads,” said Mzuku.