Siblings held for allegedly dousing father's body with paraffin and setting it alight at funeral
Stutterheim - Four suspects accused of burning a corpse during a funeral service at a village in Mgwali outside Stutterheim were released on a warning.
The accused, Sive Kilani, Neziswa Kilani, Nombulelo Nyokana and Pheziswa Kilani appeared at the Stutterheim Magistrate's Court on Friday, "and were out on warning".
According to the Eastern Cape police spokesperson Colonel Sibongile Soci, they are scheduled to appear in court again on May 26.
Soci said the incident occurred on April 15.
"It was alleged that there was a funeral of a man where his three children instructed the parlour employees to open the casket, and they threw paraffin and set the casket alight."
A video of the incident circulated on social media. The 44-second video showed a group of people singing church songs, clapped and danced next to a grave where a corpse was on fire with a group of other people looking on.
Soci said the police were alerted the following day and went to investigate and managed to arrest four suspects aged between 20 and 41 years for malicious damage to property and violation of grave and corpse.
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane said the provincial government has established the incident was allegedly linked to family feuds involving the deceased and his children.
"The Eastern Cape government wants to encourage the people of our province to refrain from doing things that are illegal because the burning of a corpse is not cremation," urged Mabuyane.
He said it was a crime. "There are laws regulating cremation of people in our country," he said.
Mabuyane welcomed the arrests and charging of some of the individuals who were allegedly involved in that act of "criminality".
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