Community members from Tshitavha Sambandou surround the gravesite of Alpheus Vhudzikadzika where the remains of a headless body was dug up by the police on Tuesday morning.
A 17-year-old girl’s staggering testimony about allegedly being part of a gang that robbed graves of body parts to sell on the muti market has caused a stir in the community of Tshitavha Sambandou (outside of Thohoyandou).
The girl approached her local traditional leader with her harrowing revelations last Tuesday (22nd), and has since been placed in a witness protection programme of the Thohoyandou police. Hence her identity cannot be made public.
According to information made available to the Limpopo Mirror, the girl said that she assisted her boyfriend to dig up graves in the local cemetery at night. They would then cut off body parts as needed and sell them to traditional healers.
She told of two different incidents where the head and the bones of two different deceased people were stolen.
The matter was reported to the police, who visited the mentioned gravesites on Tuesday (29th) to verify the girl’s information. Inside the grave of Alpheus Vhudzikadzika (74), who was buried in August last year, the police discovered a body without a head.
The Limpopo Police spokesperson, Brig Motlafela Mojapelo, said that the remains would be forensically tested. He further confirmed that the police had opened cases of grave vandalism and the desecration of a deceased for further investigation. "The suspect is known to us and it will be just a matter of time before we bring him to book,” he said.
Mojapelo further urged to the community to remain calm and assist the police if they have any more information regarding the incident.
Read the full report in the printed edition of the Limpopo Mirror this coming Friday.
Date:29 August 2017 - By: Elmon Tshikhudo
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.