It emerged that the 74-year-old’s head had been stolen and sold to a traditional healer for muthi!
ALPHEUS Vhudzikadzika’s family was devastated when he died last year. But little did his relatives know their suffering would not end with his funeral.
The horrific discovery was made after a 17-year-old girl came forward and told residents of Tshitavha Sambandou, outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo, that she had been involved in sinister activities with her boyfriend.
The girl, who cannot be named for her own safety, told a local traditional healer she and her 24-year-old boyfriend had dug up graves at night to steal body parts. She said they had dug up two bodies and stolen the head of one and the bones of another before selling the parts to traditional healers.
The police also found a knife and a piece of corrugated iron in the grave which it is believed the thieves left behind. Alpheus’ younger brother, Evans, said he and his family’s hearts were torn out.
“We buried our brother last year and thought he was resting in peace and now this happens.
“All I want is the person responsible behind bars. He also needs to tell us where my brother’s head is.”
On hearing of the incident, Vhembe Traditional Health Practitioners president Mbilivhili Neluvhola came out strongly against the use of body parts in traditional medicine.
“On several occasions we have marched against ritual killings. We do not use body parts. Those who use body parts are not our members and should be arrested. We urge the police to act swiftly on information they get from the community,” he said.
Police spokesman Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, who was at the scene, said cases of vandalisation of a grave and desecration of a body were opened.
“The suspect is known to us. It is just a matter of time before we bring him to book. In the case of the girl, it’s our duty to keep her safe and we are going to put her in a witness protection programme.”
Mojapelo said the body would be sent for forensic testing. He urged the community to be calm and to give the police all the information they had about the case.