Corpse in coffin goes up in flames

A SHOCKED community was forced to watch helplessly as a coffin burnt to ashes with its corpse still inside.

A SHOCKED community was forced to watch helplessly as a coffin burnt to ashes with its corpse still inside.

Violet Malapane was to be buried on Saturday but at Friday's night vigil the house that contained the coffin caught fire.

Bereaved family members in Worcester village, near Tzaneen, first tried to extinguish the raging fire with buckets of water but the flames drove them back.

The uncle of the deceased, Matome Ratheko, said the family had kept candles burning around the coffin in the vacant house - as tradition demanded - "but then we were baffled to suddenly see flames coming from the house".

"What is also painful is that the identity documents of the deceased and those of her mother were burnt in the flames.

"It will now be difficult for those left behind to access government grants."

Maake police spokesperson Constable Mpho Seroto said: "The family were forced to collect the dead woman's bones for burial the following day."

He said police were investigating a case of arson.

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