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'Murdered hunter' to be laid to rest

By unknown | Oct 18, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The remains of Ntsako Richard Mkhari, the Limpopo man who was allegedly killed while hunting illegally on a farm near Phalaborwa, will finally be laid to rest this weekend.

His body was returned from the Pretoria Forensic Laboratory where it was taken for tests to determine the cause of death.

The funeral, which will be held on Saturday at Mkhari's home village of Priesca outside Phalaborwa, was stopped at the eleventh hour last week after local business people and politicians offered to assist the family financially.

The family had earlier requested assistance to bury Mkhari because they could not afford to do so. None of the remaining family members is employed. Mkhari himself was unemployed before he died.

Family spokesman Frans Mkhari confirmed yesterday that the family had received financial help from local business people.

"We are relieved that at last our relative will be given a decent funeral. It had been a nightmare to raise money to bury him," he said.

The funeral is expected to start at 7am. The service will take place at Mkhari's home and the cortege will then proceed to the local cemetery.

The much-awaited funeral takes place after Mkhari's bones were returned to his family nearly a fortnight ago.

Sowetan was invited to look at pictures of Mkhari's corpse, which showed that the 47-old-man was hit twice on the head with a hard object. His skull was found to have cracked, apparently during the alleged attack. Part of his skull showed bloodstains which, according to forensic experts, indicated that he was hit while still alive. His leg also had what looked like a gunshot.

Mkhari disappeared on July 15 while hunting on farm Vygeboom near Eiland in the Phalaborwa area. He had left home with six of his dogs to go and hunt on the farm.

Two of the dogs returned home while the other four were shot and killed by farmer, Johan van Niekerk.

Van Niekerk, 69, is currently out on R10000 bail, together with his co-accused, Gert van Vuuren, 22, after the court could not find sufficient evidence to link them to Mkhari's murder.

A decision by the director for public prosecutions had recommended their release pending the forensic results.


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