Body reburied after cops take samples

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

The remains of Great Mdluli, the taxi boss and teacher who was shot in November 2003, were reburied yesterday after police had exhumed them two days earlier after finding new evidence that could lead to the arrest of his killer.

Mdluli's family, former colleagues and the police gathered at the Demulani cemetery near Thulamahashe in Mpumalanga for the reburial.

The police told Sowetan that they had taken the samples needed to conclude their investigations from Mdluli's remains and had sent them to a laboratory for tests.

A taxi driver who worked closely with Mdluli before his death was arrested after Mdluli's body was found with a bullet wound to the head near a railway line in Edinburgh village.

People who were collecting firewood stumbled on the body and alerted the Mhala police.

Their investigations led to the arrest of a taxi driver who had a bloodstained T-shirt. But the suspect told police the marks were beetroot stains and they released him because of a lack of evidence.

But they took samples of the "beetroot" to a laboratory for tests and the results came back showing that it was in fact human blood.

The police then took blood samples from Mdluli's mother, sent them for tests and compared them with the "beetroot" stains.

They matched.

"We were then forced to exhume the victim's remains for direct tests in order to have a watertight case against the suspect," Captain Leonard Hlathi, the spokesman for Mpumalanga police's organised crime unit, said yesterday.

Mdluli's sister, Khensani Mdluli, told Sowetan that the latest developments had traumatised the family, but they were relieved that investigations were taking shape.

"We also want to know who killed my brother," Khensani said.

"That person must land up in jail so that my brother's soul can rest in peace."