Corpse stolen from mortuary found buried in cemetery

Siyabonga Mbanjwa's, 38, whose body was allegedly stolen at the Pinetown government parlour.

Siyabonga Mbanjwa's, 38, whose body was allegedly stolen at the Pinetown government parlour.

Published Oct 9, 2023


Durban — A KwaDabeka family wants justice after the body of their son, Siyabonga Mbanjwa, 38, was stolen from the Pinetown government mortuary.

It is alleged an individual, who has been identified as being from uMlazi unit U, came with a hearse on September 29 to claim Mbanjwa’s body, pretending to be a family member.

According to Sandile Mdladla, his brother’s body was found recently by the police, buried in Dannhauser cemetery near Toti under a new identity, which is Lindokuhle Enock Mntungwa.

“We want justice for what happened to my brother’s body. I don’t know all the procedures, but what I want to know is how the police let go of the body to the wrong people.

“I don’t understand, this leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions. Those who stole the body pretended to be our family in the mortuary and they buried my brother in Dannhauser,’’ said Mdladla.

“No one has given answers as to how (the body) was stolen and why. I even suspect maybe his killers are trying to erase evidence, or maybe it is one of those insurance schemes where they sell unknown bodies to claim insurance, we really don't know.”

Mdladla said what puzzled him most was that his brother's body was still registered as an unknown person, despite being stolen and given a new identity.

This comes after Mbanjwa, who was renting in the Nazareth area, Pinetown, was found murdered in a dump in September. He had been missing for weeks.

A community member who spoke on condition of anonymity for safety reasons said Mbanjwa disappeared after he was heard crying for help, allegedly being beaten by feared individuals in the community, and nobody came out to rescue him.

It was also said that before his death, Siyabonga disclosed that he was once attacked by unknown people who demanded money from him.

Siyabonga’s mother, Nokuzolwa Mbanjwa, went to identify her son’s body in Scottburgh Mortuary on Monday after it was exhumed.

“After doing DNA tests on Friday, on the same day the police called me to confirm that they had found the body. (On Monday) they called us again to go and identify the body in Scottburgh Mortuary. When we arrived there, indeed it was my son.”

She added: “Last week on Thursday we were taken to the detectives, who told us that the person we are searching for died and he has been buried already. They showed us proof and fingerprints.”

The family will now have to wait more than three months for further forensic investigation before they can bury the body.

“This is very painful – imagine, we have to wait more than six months to bury my son,’’ the mother said.

The funeral parlour from Pinetown, the name of which name has been withheld, when contacted by the Daily News did not deny it had transported Siyabonga’s body. It said it had been ordered by the police to not comment.

The KZN SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Nqobile Gwala said charges of murder and theft were being investigated by Pinetown SAPS.

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