Family buries wrong body

Posted in Latest News

Lentswe, Jouberton - Two families are traumatised after a mix-up at a funeral caused one family to bury the wrong body. The body had to be exhumed a few days later.

On Friday 1 September, the family of Timothy Dire (39) went to Ke Lebogile Funeral Parlour in Uraniaville to fetch his body. But he was not there and they found out that he was buried during another funeral on 29 August.

The family of Pogisho Phatswane (48) who was supposed to be buried on 29 August were called to the mortuary where they met with the police and the business owner, Ezekiel Dintwe (50).

Neo, the wife of the late Timothy Dire and his brother, Tebogo (41) said: “We came here early today (Friday) to prepare the body, so that we can have it later on, but was shocked to discover the body was not here.

“When we tried to ask, they were claiming that it was at another mortuary and they will fetch it. We were later told that it was buried by another family.”

Tebogo said they were given the details of that family and then went to find them.

“This is something that happens only on TV, now we are experiencing it. What we want is the body, so that we can bury it,” he said. 

Dire was re-buried by his family on Saturday 2 September after he was exhumed from the wrong grave.

Maki, daughter of the late Pogisho Phatswane said: “After this funeral (Tuesday), I had bad dreams about my father and every time when I walk to the toilet, my father’s shadow was always following me. I think he was trying to make me aware that he is still getting cold in that fridge, while we buried the wrong person. What makes me so sad is that we were busy mourning for someone that we didn’t even know.”

When asked if the family identified the body or not, the deceased’s wife, Paulinah (50) said: “Some of our family members did not check the body, while those who checked him believed that it was him.”

The family was later compensated with R1 000 and the second funeral costs were promised by the funeral parlouer. Phatswane was laid to rest on Sunday afternoon 3 September. Lentswe confronted the funeral parlour’s owner, Dintwe, who said: “I started this business in 2005 and it is the first time I experience something like this. I accept that this was our mistake and would like to apologise to both families.”