Durban woman still not buried, one year after being murdered by husband
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DURBAN - EXACTLY a year after the charred remains of a Phoenix woman were found in her abandoned car at Molweni Cemetery in Inanda, her family have not been able to bury her.
This is because her husband, charged with her murder, legally possesses the right to bury her. Khulukazi Ndlovu had been missing for a few days when her car was found burnt and abandoned in a cemetery in Molweni on April 3.
Leaving her husband, she had moved out of their Phoenix home and was renting accommodation in the area at the time of her disappearance.
Her husband, Sfiso Professor Ndlovu, 46, was arrested and appeared in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court, six months later, charged with kidnapping and murder. He pleaded not guilty on both charges and denied being anywhere near the scene.
The slain woman’s sister said they could not bury her because she was Ndlovu’s wife. The sister, who cannot be named to protect her, said the family was struggling to find closure without a proper funeral.
Initially, Khulukazi’s family had been unable to bury her because of the delay in confirming the identity of her burnt body.
DNA analysis was done and later confirmed that the charred remains were in fact those of Khulukazi.
Her sister said after that they expected the Ndlovu family to make arrangements to bury their daughter, but they did not. “His family was supposed to come to us and discuss a way forward because it was confirmed that it was Khulukazi’s remains found inside her car. The fact that her husband was the suspect should not have stood in the way of giving her a dignified burial, but since she was a married woman, we were told that she belonged to the Ndlovu family.”
She said to try to find closure, they held a memorial service, but that did not help because her remains were still with the state mortuary.
“We know that our sister is not at peace. Our father, who is the only remaining parent is traumatised and prays for this issue to be sorted out soon. He panics all the time about dying and leaving our sister’s remains not buried. We are unable to speak to his (husband) family because of the way that we were treated by his family in court.”
Dr Rudolf Zinn, professor of Policing and Forensic Investigation at Unisa, said legally, there is no way that the husband can stop the burial as he does not own the body.
Meanwhile, the Pietermaritzburg High Court sentenced Mlungisi Goodman “Sosha” Mthembu, 29, to 25 years’ imprisonment for the murder of his girlfriend, Tholakele Maureen Sithole.
On January 5, 2019, Mthembu was at his girlfriend’s place in Mandeni where they had an argument.
Mthembu accused Sithole of having an affair. Later that evening, Mthembu strangled her, and wrapped her body in a comforter, put it into a car and drove to a sugar cane field where he dumped it. The body was found three days later.
The police became suspicious of Mthembu after he contradicted himself in his statement and subsequently arrested him.
During the trial, State advocate Dan Magwaza led the evidence of Mthembu’s friend who testified that Mthembu had confessed to him and asked for his assistance in disposing the body.
A traditional healer told the court that she had done a cleansing ceremony for Mthembu after he had dumped Sithole’s body.