Durban - Ten years after an elderly uMlazi man mysteriously disappeared, it has emerged that he could have been buried in his own yard, where several bones have been unearthed.
Johannes Msomi was 68 when he disappeared from his home in 2004 while his family were preparing for the funeral of a relative.
Msomi had lived with another male relative, who died in 2009.
After receiving information that Msomi could have been buried in his yard, police dug up the area on Friday, unearthing bones and clothing including a pair of shorts and T-shirts, near banana trees.
A neighbour allegedly pointed to one of the clothing items and said Msomi had regularly worn it when he went round the township selling toilet supplies to locals.
Msomi’s nephew, Thembinkosi Msomi, 55, who now lives in the house after recently relocating from Montclair, said the family had searched hospitals and mortuaries when his uncle disappeared.
He said the family had recently decided to resume their search after a neighbour told him to check in the yard, as there had been a lot of digging there around the time Msomi disappeared.
Thembinkosi said he dug around and discovered some bones. He alerted his sister, a nurse, and she believed the bones were human, he said. The police were called to exhume the rest of the bones.
Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed that an inquest docket had been opened.
“It is alleged that human bones were dug up in the yard on Friday. They will be taken to a forensic laboratory to ascertain the person’s identity as well as the possible cause of death,” he said.
Thembinkosi said the discovery had been hard on his family. He said they were waiting anxiously for the results so they could get closure and plan a proper burial in accordance with Zulu traditions.