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By unknown | Oct 14, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A Ladysmith family is unable to bury a loved one because the body disappeared mysteriously from a local mortuary two weeks ago.

Jerome Nxumalo died of natural causes at his family home.

Now a private mortuary cannot produce the body.

In a bizarre response to their enquiries mortuary staff are said to have just stood by and told the family to search for their loved one in the morgue themselves.

When the family could not find the body they were told to go to Vryheid -nearly 150km away- because another family might have mistakenly taken the corpse and buried it.

The drama started on Friday when the Nxumalo family went to collect the body a day before the funeral.

"We wanted to have the funeral at the weekend but could not find the corpse," Bongani Ndlovu, a family member, said. The mortuary staff told us to search for the body ourselves"

The private mortuary, whose name is known to Sowetan, was unavailable for comment.

Ndlovu said the ordeal of being unable to find his cousin's body is frustrating the family.

"We have ourselves traced families who recently lost loved ones, but we have not found the body," Ndlovu said.

He said he could not believe the insensitivity of the mortuary staff.

He said the mortuary has refused to accept responsibility for the alleged mix-up.

"It has been two weeks already," Ndlovu said. "If we do eventually find the family that buried Jerome by mistake it will be a long process before we can bury him.

"The body will have to be exhumed and then we will have to wait weeks or maybe months for DNA tests.

"In the meantime we continue to feel the pain of not knowing what happened to our loved one.

"We have lost thousands of rands on funeral and travelling costs."

Police spokesman Captain Charmaine Struwig confirmed that a case of a missing body was opened at the Ladysmith police station.


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