‘We want him exhumed’

2018-10-24 06:01

All the Jengo family from Platfontein wanted was to bury their loved one in dignity, and not be imposed to bury a completely different person.

The bereaved father, Moesongo Jengo, got the shock of his life on the morning of 16 October after he insisted to see his son’s body.

Instead of getting his light-skinned, tall and slender son Jengo Jengo (32) to bury, he found a complete stranger in the coffin.

The man in the coffin was a short, old man with a bulging stomach and a cleanly shaven head who seemed to have suffered some kind of torture, Moesongo said.

“It is evident that a complete stranger was thrown in the coffin that was sealed to prevent us from seeing who it was,” Jengo said.

Jengo’s body was discovered in the veld a few metres from his home on Sunday, 30 September, by a passer-by.

According to the family, Moesongo was not there to identify the body on the scene, and Moesongo said he was refused the right to identify the body the following day.

An officer on the scene gave them a piece of paper with his contact details and a case number, which is in the possession of Express Northern Cape.

Moesongo said he was told by the police that his son’s body was decomposed.

After founding the wrong body in the coffin on the burial day, the family sent it back but the same body was sent to them again.

“We accompanied Keipoletse Funerals to Kimberley with the intention to fetch our son’s body and to dress him up with new clothes.

“But upon arrival I was made to sign forms. I only realised now that I was tricked into admitting that I have identified the body positively by signing,” Moesongo said.

A spokesperson of Keipoletse Funerals said they will not take the blame on the matter and said the body has been at the state mortuary all along due to being partly decomposed.

They said the body was only brought to them on the morning of the funeral to seal for health reasons and for the funeral to proceed.

The spokesperson of the police in the Northern Cape, Lt Col Dimakatso Mooi, said they carry no knowledge of a body being discovered in Platfontein as no inquest docket was opened.

A spokesperson of the Northern Cape Department of Health, Lulu Mxekezo, refuted allegations that forensic patho­logy officers (FPOs) collected a corpse without the knowledge of the South African Police Services (SAPS).

“All protocols were followed by the FPOs, as they always do, when dealing with such cases. The scope of work for Forensic Services is only on unnatural deaths for the purpose of an enquiry or an inquest. All bodies presented at forensic mortuaries are handed over by the SAPS, accompanied by relevant documentation,” said Mxekezo.

She said the post-mortem was conducted on 1 October and the outcome was natural causes.

“The body was identified on 8 October by a relative of the deceased, with relevant documentation according to such processes.”

In such cases the responsibi­lity of the Department of Health is medical investigation (autopsy) and safekeeping of bodies.

The SAPS deals with inquest and docket management in cases of unnatural causes, she said.

The Jengo family wants those who trampled on their human rights to account for it and they want the opportunity to point out the officers who dealt with the matter.

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