North West to pay for priest's funeral

2012-06-27 18:54

Johannesburg - The North West government will pay for the funeral of a priest and his daughter found in a shallow grave in Tlhabologang near Coligny, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

"On the instruction of premier [Thandi] Modise, her office is assisting the family with funeral arrangements and meeting the costs of the funeral," Lesiba Kgwele said.

The badly decomposed body of Elias Maretlwa, 61, and a skeleton believed to be that of his daughter Leki, 23, were discovered two weeks ago.

They were buried in a shallow grave in the bedroom of their house.

The National Independent Congregation Church priest was reported missing in December.

His daughter disappeared in 2009.

The priest's wife allegedly said her husband and daughter where in Botswana to train as traditional healers. The pair was supposed to return on 16 June.

When they did not, the wife came under pressure to explain their absence, and reportedly confessed that she had buried them in their house.

She reportedly said she did so because she could not afford funerals for them.

The 67-year-old woman is in police custody.