Grave robbers make off with corpse and head

Police inspect a grave where a body was exhumed last week and the remains were found with the head missing. (Chester Makana, News24)
Police inspect a grave where a body was exhumed last week and the remains were found with the head missing. (Chester Makana, News24)

Makuya - Limpopo police have launched a manhunt for grave robbers after a corpse and a head were stolen from a cemetery in Tshitavha, Samandou, east of Thohoyandou.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said they were investigating the violation of graves and corpses.

The investigation started after a local woman claimed that she was part of the group that has been targeting the dead at local graveyards over the past few years.

It is alleged that the woman worked with her friends to dig up the graves and "harvest" the bodies for sangomas. 

On Tuesday, local residents in the area gathered at the graveyards, accompanied by relatives of Alpheus Phundulu, who was buried in 2007.
 
Phundulu’s grave was exhumed after a former syndicate member pointed out that the grave was empty.

After two hours and twenty minutes of digging, police and forensic pathologists found nothing in the grave. Last week, police said a body of a man, who had been buried last year, had had its head cut off.

"Following last week’s exhumation of the body that was found headless, today we had another exhumation and, this time, nothing was found in the grave," said Mojapelo.

"There’s nothing, not even the bones, I could see," said Phundulu’s son, Fhatuwani.

He struggled to contain himself.  

Meanwhile, police appealed to Daniel Nephawe to contact police, saying he could help them with their investigations.

Mojapelo said a case of defeating the ends of justice was also being investigated against an unnamed sangoma.
 


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