Imbali family traumatised by corpse mix up

2018-01-31 06:00
PHOTO: SuppliedTebogo Mzamane’s corpse was given to the wrong family by a government mortuary.

PHOTO: SuppliedTebogo Mzamane’s corpse was given to the wrong family by a government mortuary.

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However, Sibusiso said once he had given the descriptions, the police told him the physical description matched that of a dead person found in Slangspruit on Wednesday, January 17, but who was wearing different clothes to those described by Sibusiso.

“I told the police it was possible that Tebogo could have changed clothes because he was hiding from people who were looking for him.

“The police then told us to come back the next day and a police officer would escort us to the morgue so we can identify the body,” Sibusiso said.

At the morgue the next day they saw Tebogo had a stab wound at the back of his head and was wearing different clothes to those the family last saw him in.

“Once we had identified the body we signed the necessary documents and officials said we should pass on the information, tag numbers and related codes to the funeral service company we had hired,” the father said.

He said on Monday, January 22, the funeral service company discovered when it went to collect Tebogo’s corpse from the morgue that the wrong body had been left for the Mzamane family as the information in the possession of the funeral services and of the corpse did not correspond.

“The funeral services employee, who was to collect Tebogo, is a neighbour who knows Tebogo and he could see it was not him. I then received a call from the funeral services and they told me about the mix up,” Sibusiso said.

The father said later that day he went to the Fort Napier Morgue and an official there confirmed that the mix -up of the bodies occurred on Friday, January 19 and that the family who had taken Tebogo’s corpse incorrectly had already buried him on Sunday.

“But the official would not say who had been negligent resulting in the mix up,” Sibusiso said.

Sithole said on Wednesday, January 17, two men came to the family home with another male known to the family as Tebogo’s friend whose hands and feet were tied with a rope.

“They came in a car, they were manhandling the other boy they were with who they accused, along with Tebogo, of stealing cellphones from girl pupils at a local high school,” she said.

Sithole said before the two men left after learning that Tebogo was not at home, they threatened to kill Tebogo once they found him.

“I thought they would beat him like one would beat a child that has done wrong, and then take him to the police,” she said.

Tebogo’s grandmother, Maureen Sithole said the family was hurt by the threat because 30 minutes after it had been made Tebogo was found dead.

She said the two men came to the family home on Sunday and said they were not behind Tebogo’s death.

Phumzile said later on Wednesday the family was notified by one of Tebogo­’s friends that he had been beaten to death but the family brushed that side, assuming he was hiding at a friend’s place.

However, the next afternoon a family member heard from three people about Tebogo’s murder, which is when they started looking for Tebogo at the hospital and police stations.

Tebogo’s father described him as a child who would get up to no good like most young people would.

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