Corpse thief jailed for six years

2011-04-15 14:31

A Pietermaritzburg woman who lied to mortuary staff that two corpses in a mortuary were her relatives and that she was entitled to remove them was jailed for six years today.

The woman, Gugulethu Buyishewe Methula (37) pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud.

The court found that she gave the false name of Nonhlanhla Mfaba to mortuary attendant Maria Zondi and induced her to believe that the body of Kupulanga Mxala was that of her brother and that she was entitled to remove it.

She also said she was the sister of another person in the mortuary and was entitled to remove the body. State prosecutor Sharleen Haggard said the frauds were uncovered by police investigators.

Haggard said a funeral was arranged and she surmised this was for an insurance fraud.

She expected further investigations to uncover more facts.

She said Methula had been found in possession of copies of documents which were not her own.

Magistrate Amanda Bezuidenhout said that these were serious cases and she considered referring the case to the regional court for a heavier sentence.

She did not do so, however, because she could sentence Methula to three years in jail for each of the convictions and the six years seemed appropriate.

She said that a similar case in which the accused did not plead guilty was being heard in Durban.

She said that the cases induced a sense of shock in the community.

If corpses disappeared from the mortuary the bereaved families would not have closure.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.