Cops find missing body parts, halt funeral

Sakhile Mokoena

Sakhile Mokoena

Police intervened to cancel the funeral of a Mpumalanga man at the weekend after they discovered that his body had been mutilated.

Now a post-mortem must be conducted to determine whether Vincent Sithole, 38, of Clau-Clau, Nelspruit, had his lower lip cut off and chunks of flesh cut from his leg before or after he died.

Sithole's family and friends came to view the body before burial, but his grandmother allegedly prevented them from doing so.

Police spokesman Constable Muzi Ngomane said the family called the police to intervene after they became suspicious about the old woman's motives.

"After we convinced Sithole's grandmother to open the coffin, we found the deceased's lower lip missing, and on further examination of the corpse, we discovered that some flesh had been cut from one of his legs," said Ngomane.

Now police have opened a murder docket to investigate whether Sithole was mutilated before or after death.

Though Sithole died after a long illness, Ngomane said the post mortem would determine the cause of death.

The post mortem will be conducted this week and a new burial date set.

Mourners were shocked on Saturday when told the burial would no longer take place because Sithole's body had been mutilated.