By Nqobile Tshili
A schoolboy from Nkulumane suburb in Bulawayo who was certified by a post-mortem last month to have died due to excessive alcohol consumption was actually killed, a second post-mortem has revealed.
The latest report also states that Prichard Ndlovu (16) who was a Form Three pupil at Founders High School, had no alcohol in his system at the time of his death.
Prichard allegedly died last month following teenage gang violence in Nketa 6 suburb and police opened murder investigations after his decomposing body was found dumped in a bushy area inside Nketa High School, not outside the school as was earlier reported.
Police closed the murder case and released four suspects after the initial post mortem said he had died due to severe alcohol intoxication.
The first post-mortem report which concluded that the boy had died from alcohol abuse was compiled at United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH).
The latest post-mortem was conducted at Mpilo Central Hospital.
Prichard’s family rejected the first post-mortem results as they suspected foul play and demanded a second one.
His friends had told the family that the boy had last been seen escaping from a teenage gang which was attacking him and his friends.
Prior to Prichard’s burial in December his family with the help of Nkulumane MP Advocate Kucaca Phulu sought a second opinion on the cause of his death at Mpilo Central Hospital.
The second post-mortem compiled by a pathologist at Mpilo Central Hospital revealed that Prichard’s death was not due to excessive alcohol abuse but extensive muscle injury and assault.
The Chronicle is in possession of the post mortem report.
The report states that there were marks inflicted through violence which could have led to the boy’s death.
The post-mortem said shoddy work was done in the initial UBH post mortem.
According to the second report, doctors at Mpilo Central Hospital discovered that Prichard’s brain was missing and cotton wool was stashed in his empty skull.
“This is not a natural death. It was most likely a result of the trauma to the body i.e limbs, pelvis, back, face and neck. All visceral organs of the chest and abdomen were intact and were not opened or dissected during the initial post-mortem done on 12 December 2018 i.e they were not opened and examined internally.
However, we did not see the brain,” reads the report.
According to the report, procedurally the brain should have been there, stored on the chest or abdominal cavities.
The report states that police should institute investigations on the boy’s murder.
“The now deceased’s body was traumatised before death. On 24 December 2018 I saw the pictures taken by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at the scene where the body was found.
Picture images DSC 0519, 0520, 0522 and 0523 match with some of the bruises and underlying soft tissue and muscle injuries found on the day of repost-mortem,” the report reads.
“This was not a natural death. I did not see the UBH post-mortem report No 1191/1190/2018 (UBH) before, during and after the “repost-morteming.”
Dr Jekenya’s report found “scanty brownish liquid substance in his stomach and no beer sediments or food”.
The Chronicle yesterday could not obtain a comment from the family, but Adv Phulu said the new findings entail that police revisit the matter.
“I’m happy that the family can now find closure in learning the truth about what happened to their child. We are looking forward that there would be proper investigations on the boy’s death. It’s a case where the system responded to the family’s concerns and inquiries.
“As the MP, I’m also happy I spoke to the boy’s mother; she is happy it’s unfortunate you haven’t been able to reach her. We now know that the child did not die due to alcohol abuse. The law has to take its course,” said Adv Phulu.
The lawyer said that the missing brain issue does not amount to anything as it is normally removed and replaced with cotton wool during post mortem.
No comment could be obtained immediately from the police. The Chronicle