By ’Mantoetse Maama and Ntsebeng Motsoeli
BEREA — ’Maitumeleng Lethibelane is a shaken woman.
Barely a month after she buried her 13-year-old daughter, the grave was tampered with, leaving some parts of the deceased’s coffin outside the grave.
Last Tuesday, Lethibelane who said she was still to come to terms with the death of her eldest daughter said she had to relive the pain of her loss when she received news that her child’s grave had been “tampered with”.
Shocked and in disbelief, she said she went to the village graveyard to see what had happened.
She and other villagers found a heap of soil that seemed to have been dug from the grave.
There was also a handle of the coffin near the grave.
“It was in the afternoon on Tuesday last week when some men who were renovating my house told me that something had happened at the grave.
“Initially I took it lightly but when I went there, I was shocked to see the coffin exposed.”
The villagers informed the police who came to investigate what had happened the following day.
“They discovered the handle of the coffin had been removed and a razor blade that was broken into two parts by the grave-side.” However, she explained police had indicated their preliminary investigations had revealed no evidence that the coffin had been opened and the remains tampered with.
In an interview Police spokesperson Inspector Thato Ramarikhoane confirmed they received a report concerning the incident. “The family had feared that the body might have been tampered with but this was not the case.”
However, Lethibelane said the incident has deeply traumatised her.
“I am still mourning the loss of my daughter. In as much as her death was sudden, I did not want to believe she was bewitched but this incident has led me to believe that something sinister might have caused her death,” she said
Lethibelane said she was worried before the police opened the coffin to check the remains. “Fortunately, the remains were intact.”
Prior to her death, she said the deceased had suffered a short illness.
“On July 13, she complained of stomach pain.
“I thought it was just a stomach bug, so I prepared some medicine (Hloenya) for her to take but she remained in pain and stayed awake all night.”
The following day, she said they went to a traditional healer for help but the situation worsened even after consulting the healer.
Another traditional healer could not help either, she said.