Suspects caught digging grave – leave behind bag of muti, panga and spade after fleeing

Imagine you have laid your loved one to rest but you get a phone call from the police that their grave has been dug up and there are body parts missing. It’s now scary with these muti doers who are doing all these rituals just to get some perks in life.

Police in Mpumalanga has called on anyone with information to come forward after a grave was dug by suspects who were trying to exhume the body of a man who was buried a few weeks ago.

According to Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, the suspects were caught by residents at the Jerusalem graveyard in Masoyi, outside White River, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“It is alleged that some members of the community were going to the grave in preparation for a funeral when they saw two people who then fled upon their arrival,” explained Brigadier Mohlala on Thursday.

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“Police at Masoyi were informed about the incident and upon arrival at the scene, they discovered that the suspects left a panga, a spade as well as a bag with some items which look like muti inside.

“Upon closer observation, the grave of a man who was buried on 23 November 2022 at the age of 19 was dug but the suspects failed to bring the body to the surface. His family was then summoned and they are in the process to determine whether his body parts are complete.”

A case of a violation of a corpse has been opened and is under investigation.

Police cannot rule out the possibility that the act could be related to practices of a certain cult, however, more details will unfold as the investigation progresses.

No one has been arrested so far.

The Provincial Commissioner of the Saps in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, condemned the incident and labeled the act as an indication of moral decay in the society.

Bones for muti

In July, a sangoma and two other men were arrested for digging up graves allegedly in search of bones for muti.

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According to the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD), TMPD regional members received a complaint from security guards who were working the night shift at a graveyard about people digging up graves.

“The officers responded swiftly and rushed to the graveyard. Upon arrival, they found three people inside the grave busy digging. When the three suspects were questioned, they could not account for what they were doing and where they got the permission to dig up the graves,” said the TMPD.

Among the three suspects was a sangoma.

“They were allegedly looking for dead people’s bones for muti purposes. The suspects tried to offer a bribe of R1 500.”


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