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Tsholotsho family buries wrong corpse in SA body-mix up

By Nqobile Tshili

A body mix-up at a funeral parlour in South Africa resulted in a family from Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North burying a wrong corpse.

File picture of coffin
File picture of coffin

Bhekisisa Moyo (25) was allegedly stoned to death and his body was taken to a mortuary in Diepsloot in South Africa where the body of Coaster Chauke from Chiredzi, was also being kept.

Moyo’s family mistakenly collected Chauke’s body for burial as they did not conduct body viewing due to the state of their son’s body.

Moyo was allegedly stoned to death in the neighbouring country while Chauke was fatally stabbed.

Moyo was buried on September 15.

In a telephone interview, Chauke’s family yesterday said the body-mix has left them drained emotionally and financially.

Chauke’s brother Mr Joseph Chinhemba said his family had to bring Moyo’s body to his relatives in Tsholotsho when they discovered the body mix-up.

“My brother and this other one from Tsholotsho were taken to the same funeral parlour following their deaths last month. It seems they were taken on the same day to the parlour. The family from Tsholotsho managed to fix their repatriation papers before us and collected the body; unfortunately, they collected my brother’s body which they buried in their rural home in Tsholotsho,” said Mr Chinhemba.

He revealed that Moyo’s family did not conduct the body viewing process in line with their cultural beliefs as their son was killed.

Mr Chinhemba said processes have commenced to ensure that his brother is exhumed for reburial in their rural home.

“This is painful for us. It has exhausted us emotionally, physically and financially. We had to bring a body fully knowing it is not ours from South Africa. Now it is going to cost us further to transport my young brother’s remains to our rural home. Some of our relatives will never get the closure they require as we will also no longer conduct body viewing process,” said Mr Chinhemba.

However, he said they have no qualms with Moyo’s family as they believe that the incident was a genuine mistake.

Mr Chinhemba said if there is anyone to blame it is officials at the South African mortuary. The Chronicle