Hope of finding corpse

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A body, believed to be that of a Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal man who went missing from a mortuary, will be exhumed at Tebetebeni cemetery today.

The family was unable to bury their loved one after the body mysteriously disappeared from a local mortuary more than three weeks ago.

The family of the deceased, Jerome Nxumalo, believes a mix-up might have taken place at the mortuary.

Nxumalo died of natural causes and was taken to the mortuary, but his body was nowhere to be found when his father went to collect it for burial.

His father, Themba Nxumalo, yesterday said the family had a glimmer of hope that the body that is to be exhumed today is that of his son.

The family opened a missing person case at the Ladysmith police station shortly after his disappearance.

Nxumalo hoped the three-week long search and mourning would finally come to an end after reports that a woman in the area could have buried the wrong body.

"There is a rumour that a certain woman, whose boyfriend's body was at the same mortuary, did not check the body when she collected it for burial," said the distraught father.

He said the woman was not married to the deceased but the two lived together in the area.

"Though the woman insists she buried the right body, she has been helpful and agreed to have the body exhumed."

Nxumalo said the unclaimed body that was still lying in the mortuary was not that of his son.