Mpumalanga police investigate grave tampering case

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A Mpumalanga family is distraught after the grave of their 38-year-old daughter was vandalised, two days after her burial.

Bongiwe Maseko was laid to rest on Wednesday in Chweni, near Kabokweni, and on Friday her family discovered that the grave was dug open and the coffin broken.

 The police, who were called to the scene, found the corpse missing. It was found about a kilometre away from the grave.

“What happened to my sister is uncalled for and we have never seen such thing. The police came to check the grave, when they arrived here they found that the grave has been dug open and the people used shovels and this is uncalled for,” says Bongiwe’s brother, Lenox Maseko.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Leonard Hlathi, says they body still needs to be checked to ascertain whether no parts are missing.

“We found that the body has been removed and has been put somewhere about a kilometre away from the grave. Therefore we are going to take the body so that it can be checked whether there are no body parts missing . However, it is a call that we are making as the police to say that the community must assist us. Let us work together, we  request that any one with information to  assist us to find those who have done this thing.”

Police have warned communities to refrain from digging up graves as this is not the first time they receive a report of such an incident in Mpumalanga.

“Let us wait for the process to be completed that of taking the body to be checked. Even though one body was dug up, maybe even some body parts being taken from that body, but it remains  a concern because it is a crime,” adds Hlathi.