Mutilators strike again

2008-07-13 00:00

ANOTHER Pietermaritzburg family was horrified to discover at the weekend that the body of their loved one had been mutilated after death.

This brings to four the number of mutilated bodies that were stored at a mortuary whose employees were arrested last week.

The funeral of Busisiwe Octavia Khuzwayo (44) was delayed for hours on Saturday after the family discovered that her lower lip had been sliced off.

“We were preparing to wipe the body before the funeral when we saw that her lip had been cut out. It was the most painful thing to see,” said Khuzwayo’s husband, Sipho Zondi. Police were called in to investigate.

Zondi’s sister, Sibongile Zondi, said she called the mortuary where the body was kept. Khuzwayo died of natural causes last Monday and her body was taken to Ndlelanhle Funeral Services.

Three similar cases were reported early last week at Ndlelanhle.

“When I called the owner of Ndlelanhle Funeral Services, Ntokozo Shange, he accused my family of having mutilated my sister-in law,” she said.

Shange confirmed that he was informed of the incident, but distanced his business from the matter.

“My employees did not touch that body because another service was renting my place for storage. The Zondi family together with people from the other service arrived on Friday and washed the body before they took it. If there were any missing body parts they would have reported to me because I was there.”

Zondi confirmed that a separate funeral service administered the burial, and said the family were already suspicious on Friday.

“On Friday one of the family members asked the undertakers about the blood she saw on the lower lip and his reply was that Khuzwayo had been poisoned.”

However, Zondi said Khuzwayo died of natural causes.

The name of the undertaker who gave the response is known to The Witness. He is one of the two men employed at Ndlelanhle who were arrested last week and then released due to lack of evidence.

Shange previously reported the case of missing body parts at his mortuary to the police.

He told The Witness that the incidents are affecting his business, and said he will stop keeping bodies for other services.

“Every funeral service should keep its own bodies so that they can do what they like with their clients’ bodies.”

SAPS spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram confirmed that a lower lip was missing from Khuzwayo’s body, and that police are investigating.

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