Tshinakaho Musundwa, the wife of Alpheus Vhudzikadzika, holds a portrait of her late husband, who’s grave was vandalised and his head removed from his body, believed to be sold to a sangoma Picture: Itumeleng English/ANA
Tshinakaho Musundwa, the wife of Alpheus Vhudzikadzika, holds a portrait of her late husband, who’s grave was vandalised and his head removed from his body, believed to be sold to a sangoma Picture: Itumeleng English/ANA
The grandmother of the 17-year-old Limpopo woman who revealed to the police that her 24-year-old ex-husband was involved in harvesting body parts from the dead. The teenager dropped out of school to live with the suspect at Tshitavha Sambandou, outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo. Picture: Itumeleng English/ANA
The grandmother of the 17-year-old Limpopo woman who revealed to the police that her 24-year-old ex-husband was involved in harvesting body parts from the dead. The teenager dropped out of school to live with the suspect at Tshitavha Sambandou, outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo. Picture: Itumeleng English/ANA
Tshitavha village cemetery in Sambandou, outside Thohoyandou. Picture: Itumeleng English/ANA
Tshitavha village cemetery in Sambandou, outside Thohoyandou. Picture: Itumeleng English/ANA
Johannesburg - Life has been difficult for Tshinakaho Musundwa since the death of her husband Alpheus Vhadzikadzika in September 2016, whose body was found without a head last week.

Vhadzikadzika’s body was exhumed by members of the police forensics team on Tuesday following a shocking testimony from a 17-year-old girl in Tshitavha Sambandou near Thohoyandu in Limpopo.

The teenager told police she and her 24-year-old ex-husband had vandalised graves and stolen parts of the bodies to sell, allegedly to sangomas (traditional healers).

According to police, the teen testified after she and her husband had separated.

Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said she pointed out two graves, one where they stole Vhadzikadzika’s head and the another where they removed the deceased’s bones.

When The Sunday Independent arrived at the cemetery on Wednesday, Vhadzikadzika’s grave was still open after the exhumation to confirm the startling revelations by the young woman.

His headless body has since been moved to the government mortuary for another burial. Mojapelo said the 24-year-old suspect was still at large.

Another exhumation was expected to take place next Tuesday.

Musundwa said it was painful to see how her late husband’s head had been chopped off while he should be resting in peace.

“I am hurt. My husband was supposed to rest in peace. It has hurt me because we never had any challenge when he was still alive. The worst part, his head was chopped off by a community member.

“We know his parents, we grew up together. My husband was a caring person who would always provide for his family (me and our five children).

“He was a well known person in the community because he loved everyone in this village. I never expected such a horrible thing would happen to his grave.”

The exhumed body also reminded Musundwa’s of the good life she had shared with Vhadzikadzika. She said her 10 grandchildren would not be struggling if Vhadzikadzika were still alive.

“Now I can’t forget about him. I get hurt every time I think about him and what happened to his grave. He was a good father to his children and grandchildren. He was good to our neighbours as well.

“I met him at church in 1983 and our life was good.

“He did everything for his children. Now he is no more and life has been difficult for me.

“I am struggling to raise his grandchildren. And our last born (19) is at college and I can’t afford to pay R500 for her rent. I know he would do everything for his family,” Musundwa said.

Thapelo Matsheke, a resident of Tshitavha, said he was worried for his family members who were also buried in the same graveyard. He said his sister and his grandmother were buried in that cemetery.

“Nothing has happened to their graves yet, but I am worried now.

“Police should follow this investigation and arrest the suspect and the sangomas who are involved in all of this. We are now even afraid to go in the evening because of these things, we don’t know what might happen. The police are delaying with the arrests and we are afraid to launch a protest because we might be arrested. But all we want is the arrests of those who were involved,” he said.

A civic secretary, Mufamadi Nkhiphitheni, pleaded with the community to leave the matter to the law. Nkhiphitheni said residents were angry when they heard about the shocking incidents.

“We told people not to launch a protest because they might disrupt the investigating process. If they started a protest, they might be arrested because they are going to loot and vandalise buildings, and this will delay the arrest of the suspect.”

Dieketseng*, the grandmother of the 17-year-old, said she was ashamed about her grandson in-law. She said she did not know what had happened to his behaviour.

“He was good when he met my granddaughter. At that time she was just 13 years old and they were both shepherds. My granddaughter was looking after goats and he was looking after cows.

“I was shocked when I heard that he had been accused of stealing body parts from the graves in the cemetary,” she said.

The Sunday Independent