Family upset after grave dug up, coffin missing

GRAVE PROBE:  A gravesite of deceased Lusanda Mgcineni was allegedly tempered with  Picture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

Upon visiting the Mlungisi cemetery, the Mgcineni family was shocked to discover their relative’s grave had been dug up and the original coffin appeared to be missing.

Pamella Mgcineni said she noticed part of her late sister, Lusanda Mgcineni’s
grave had been dug up when she visited it recently.

”My sister was buried on June 5. When I got to the cemetery I found a hole dug on one corner of her grave.

”There were also footsteps on top of the soil. The ground was freshly moved, as though someone was working on it.”

Mgcineni said the robe in which her sister’s body was dressed was visible, along with the white padding her body had been laid on in the casket.

”The soil was heaped before, but when I got there it was flat- not the same as we left it.”

Furthermore, she said the wood of the casket did not look anything
like the one they had buried her sister in.

”It looked like a piece of an old broken wardrobe.”

She said a piece of wood was on top of the grave and another jutted out at an angle.

An Avbob employee who went to assess the grave said it was not the casket
they had used to bury the deceased.

”To see what has been done to the body of our sister makes us feel a lot of pain.

Her children are not taking it well. They keep asking what their mother is resting on.

I tell them in time we will know, the police will assist us.”

Mgcineni said the police had told her they needed to get permission from a court
before they could investigate the case.

”The police want to establish if the casket was stolen and also to see if the
remains were still inside or if they were also taken.

”They said if the body has to be taken for forensic investigation it will be
another process.

They also said after the process we have to get a new casket and have a reinterment.

”We have gone to Chris Hani District Municipality where we were
charged R325.52 to remove the body from the grave.”

Police spokesperson captain Lariane Jonker said a case of violation of a grave had been opened and that detectives and Vispol members had visited the site and were
waiting for an order from the magistrate to begin the exhumation  and to determine what had happened.