Police in northern KwaZulu-Natal have opened an inquest after charred human remains were found in a badly burnt vehicle this week.
It's believed that the charred body is that if National Freedom Party (NFP) councillor candidate Dumisani Qwabe, who was gunned down in Nongoma.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said Magdu police received a tip-off about a vehicle on fire on the R66 between Nongoma and Pongola.
"Police had discovered a badly burnt human body inside the vehicle."
"In the meantime, ownership of the vehicle has been confirmed and the owner had stated that the vehicle was being used by her missing brother - a National Freedom Party councillor candidate," he said.
He added there was insufficient information to conclude that it was the candidate's body.
The purpose of the inquest is to determine the circumstances and cause of death, he said.
"We are appealing to anyone with any information that could assist this investigation to please contact the SAPS on 08600 10111 or via the My SAPS app. All information will be treated with strictest confidence and callers may remain anonymous," Naidoo said.
Qwabe was the party's Ward 17 candidate in Nongoma.
The NFP's secretary-general, Canaan Mdletshe, said party members were in shock.
"It's a worrisome situation as this happens just five days before the elections. As the organisation, we had previously called for the deployment of soldiers and that SAPS intelligence is intensified in some parts of KZN [which are] known to be hotspots and we reiterate that call once more," Mdletshe said.
He added that, according to law enforcement officials, the car had bullet holes and blood stains.
Police, however, are yet to confirm this.