Botho Molosankwe

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FOR THREE years, a 67-year-old woman lived with the decomposing bodies of her husband and 17-year-old daughter wrapped in blankets and buried under a bed in a shack.

The two had last been seen last year and 2009 respectively.

And, while many people were asking after them, they were not aware that their bodies had been thrown into a hole that was later covered in soil and had a bed put over it.

The three-year-old secret came out in the open on Saturday when the family of the husband went to the old woman’s house to demand answers about the missing duo.

Police went to the house in Tlhabologang, a village next to Lichtenburg, North West, and uncovered the secret.

Post-mortems have not yet revealed the cause of the pair’s deaths, but the old woman was arrested, charged with double murder and taken into custody. Her 16-year-old daughter was also taken in for questioning.

The old woman appeared at the Lichtenburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday. She was not asked to plead and has indicated she wants to get her own lawyer.

Captain Tselane Nkala, a spokeswoman for the North West police, said whenever the family had gone there to look for the old man in the past, the wife would simply say he was not there, but not give any further explanation.

Even though the man was last seen last year, there had been no missing person report filed.

“But on Saturday, they said they were not leaving until she tells them where her husband and their 17-year-old daughter was. She is alleged to have then told that family that if they want to know the truth, she will tell them. She then said she had buried both father and daughter in the shack,” Nkala recalled.

The family then called the police.

“Before the police started looking for the bodies, they took the woman to a doctor at the nearby hospital to check whether she was fine and of sound mind,” Nkala said.

Her sanity established, the police went to the place where the bodies were allegedly buried in a shack attached to her RDP house. She directed the police to a spot under the bed.

After the spot was dug up, police found the badly decomposed body of a man and bones believed to be her daughter’s. Both were wrapped in blankets.

“She told the police that the daughter and husband had been sick, and when they died, she buried them under the bed as she did not have money for a burial. But she refused to answer some questions,” Nkala said.