Police in Mpumalanga are investigating a case of theft after human skeletal remains being kept as evidence for a murder case were stolen at a state mortuary in Standerton.
Spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said police discovered on Friday that the human remains were missing. The skeleton was the subject of a police investigation in a murder case in which a 62-year-old former police officer was murdered.
“The victim was reported missing by his family in October 2020. Police launched a search for him then, without any success until Friday, 12 March 2021, when 26-year-old Mr Sanele Msimang handed himself over to the Harrismith police station in the Free State province,” said Hlathi.
Msimang informed the Free State police that he had killed his employer in Standerton last year and buried his remains in a shallow grave. He was then detained at Harrismith police station, before being brought to Standerton to face murder charges.
Hlathi said Msimang arrived in Mpumalanga on Monday and showed police where he had buried his employer’s body. The remains were exhumed and sent for forensic tests.
“A murder case was then opened, and Msimang was charged and appeared at the Standerton Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, 18 March 2021, where he was remanded in custody until Tuesday, 23 March. While busy investigating the murder case, police received disturbing news that the seized skeletal remains were missing.”
A case of theft of and defeating the ends of justice is being investigated.
Police appealed to anyone with information regarding the stolen skeletal remains to contact Detective Constable Lefa Tsotetsi on 066 019 8487 or call the Crime Stop number on 08600 10111.
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