Son accidentally kills sister, father accused of covering up incident

Lemetja Secondary at Dipere, where Mathapelo Seanego attended school. / ANTONIO MUCHAVE
Lemetja Secondary at Dipere, where Mathapelo Seanego attended school. / ANTONIO MUCHAVE

A Limpopo family has a triple tragedy on its hands. Their son faces a culpable homicide charge after he allegedly ran over his sister, killing her.

And now their father is up for a possible charge of defeating the ends of justice for apparently trying to conceal the incident.

The Seanego family at Dipere village in Bakenberg area, outside Mokopane, allegedly failed to report the accident after their son allegedly "killed" his sibling.

The incident happened on Monday when the victim, Mathapelo Seanego, 17, was travelling in the family's bakkie with other pupils from Lemetja Secondary School.

The bakkie has since been confiscated by the police as it forms part of police probe.

Police said it was at around 3.30pm when Mathapelo jumped off the moving bakkie driven by her20-year-old brother and fell to her death.

The unlicensed driver had allegedly been sent by his father to fetch pupils at the school, including Mathapelo.

Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the deceased, who was a matric pupil at the school, was rushed to Nkidikitlana clinic where she was certified dead.

Ngoepe said Mathapelo's father Jonas Seanego apparently bullied nurses at the clinic into releasing the body without due processes.

"Preliminary investigations have revealed that the father of the deceased became arrogant and bullied nurses to release the body because the family apparently wanted to start with funeral preparations."

Ngoepe said the death was never reported to the police until police received a media inquiry from Sowetan about the incident. He said they immediately followed up the matter and discovered that indeed the family did not report the accident to police.

Ngoepe said they would also open a case of defeating the ends of justice against the father for failing to report the death of his daughter.

He did not rule out the possibility of also opening a case against the mortuary used by the family, which allegedly received the body without following proper processes.

Mathapelo's body, Ngoepe added, has since been moved to the government mortuary for a postmortem set to be conducted today.

According to a resident from the village, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the family had moved the car from the accident scene and wiped off the bloodstains, apparently in an effort to conceal evidence.

"As residents, we were worried the family had ignored the laws of the country by failing to report such a horrible incident and instead tried to hide evidence," said the resident.

Approached for comment yesterday, Seanego refused to go into the details, saying he had given a statement to the police. "I have given a statement to the police and cannot comment further about the matter," he said before hanging up the phone.

When he was contacted on Wednesday, Seanego sounded irritated by Sowetan's queries and demanded to know how we got to know about the accident. He refused to answer questions, claiming to be busy.

Attempt to solicit a comment from the owner of the mortuary, Stoffel Matjila of Matjila Undertakers in Vaalwater, drew a blank yesterday.

The cellphone kept on cutting off and it was later switched off. At the time of going to print, Matjila had not responded to messages left on his cellphone. It was still unclear yesterday when Mathapelo will be buried.

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