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Mutilated body in cop's garden

By unknown | Jan 10, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Riot Hlatshwayo

Shockwaves reverberated through Songeni Village near Thulamahashe when a postmortem on Advice Mashaba revealed that her body had been mutilated.

Twenty-one-year-old Mashaba's body was found in a makeshift grave at the home of a local policeman, Inspector Richard Mathebula.

The postmortem showed that Mashaba's breasts, eyes and lips had been removed before her body was buried in the policeman's garden on Boxing Day, said Mopani police spokes-man Superintendent Moatshe Ngoepe.

"I can confirm that some of the victim's body parts had been removed and this surprise turn of events has resulted in us intensifying our investigations," Ngoepe told Sowetan.

Mashaba went missing in the early hours of December 26 after allegedly being attacked by her former boyfriend, Mandla Mathebula, who is a younger brother of the policeman from whose garden her body was recovered.

The younger Mathebula was taken to Mhala police station for questioning, but was released because of lack of evidence.

He was rearrested after Sowetan started questioning his release.

But then he was released again because of lack of evidence, this time by the Mhala magistrates' court.

His freedom lasted only for an hour, however. The police arrested him for the third time after a police dog sniffed out the body in the grave.

Shocked members of the community converged at the policeman's home as the decomposed body was exhumed from the shallow grave.

Mathebula was refused bail when he appeared in the Mhala magistrates' court on Friday and the case was postponed until this Friday.

Members of the rural community recently held a meeting at the Songeni Primary School's sports ground and suggested that Chief Eric Nxumalo expel the Mathebulas from the village.

Mashaba's funeral is scheduled to take place in Songeni Village on Saturday.


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