However, some community members who were present when the grave was dug up have a different story to tell.
Limpopo Mirror visited the family and the gravesite where Ndamulelo was buried on Tuesday. The grave had clearly been tampered with recently as traces of fresh soil could be seen.
Munna Ndi Nnyi Men’s Forum chairperson Mr Bardwell Mufunwaini, who initially dealt with the case and also went to the grave, said he doubted the family’s version very much. “When a person is buried, it undergoes many changes. The family cannot expect to find him the same as he was before he was buried. They confirmed that they saw the body before burial and the elder brother confirmed there was a bad smell upon opening the coffin. I doubt very much that a doll could smell bad,” he said.
Community leader Mr Takalani Ramanugu of the Gelebe Royal Council said they had deliberated on the issue with the family, and that he was among those who had gone to graveyard to witness the exhumation. He said they had agreed to meet at the deceased’s family’s house to ascertain that permission had been granted by the court to exhume the body.
“On arrival at the house, they were long gone with their traditional healer. We found them at the graveyard, nearly done with the digging. It seems they wanted to do everything in our absence, and we suspect a sinister agenda. The situation was very bad as we had to close our noses because of the bad stench. The body was in a state of advanced decomposition. The family must just accept that the man has passed on and learn to live with it, but they are in denial. We are not stopping them from pursuing the matter, but we are no longer involved,” he said.
Well-known traditional healer Maine Vho-Tshivhonammbi Netshivhambe advised the family to spare themselves financially as no one will be able to raise their son from the dead. “The raising of the dead ended in biblical times during the time of Jesus, and we know of no other instance after that,” she said.