"Who is he? Mystery of the dead man who held out a hand from the grave!" - Daily Sun

The front page and lead story of SA's largest daily newspaper, September 4 2013

Daily Sun (September 4 2013) - THE BODY was hidden in a shallow grave in the veld, covered with building rubble. But it was almost as though the dead man wanted to be discovered . . . STICKING OUT OF THE EARTH WAS . . . ONE OF HIS HANDS!

That was the gruesome sight that greeted a passer-by in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, on Sunday. The dead man - believed to have been older than 18 - had no visible knife or gun-shot wounds. He was dressed in brown trousers, a white T-shirt and grey socks.

The man's face had been covered with plastic, but only his skull remained. Who is he? Cops who were called to the scene have no identity for the man yet. At this stage he is just one of more than 15 000 people murdered in Mzansi every year, according to cop statistics - that's 43 a day!

Unless the dead man comes from the immediate area, his name might never be known. Police Captain Mega Ndobe is appealing to people who have missing friends or relatives to come forward to help identify him.

Ndobe said forensic experts believe the man could have been buried some months ago. "At this stage an inquest docket has been opened and the matter is under investigation," he said. A post mortem will be conducted to determine

Experts consulted by Daily Sun said the mystery of the hand sticking out of the ground could be explained by the stiffening of muscles and sinews after death which can result in limbs contracting. This process, called rigor mortis, could have caused his hand to rise up through the earth after his killers had left. the cause of death.

Thembekile Makhoba (67), who lives near the open field where the body was found, said she could not sleep on Sunday after the discovery. "I saw the body and I wondered what this man had done to be killed like an animal. This was a barbaric act and those who did this must be brought to book," said Makhoba.

Another resident, Themba Lukhele (35) told Daily Sun: "I believe he was killed in the dark. God will always have a way to bring it into the light. We always cross in the area, but we did not know what was happening until the body was discovered."

Malefu Makhubela (39) said she thought the man had been killed somewhere else and was later buried near her house. After burying the body, the killers covered it with sand and broken bricks and tiles, she said.

The body has been transported to the government mortuary.

  • Anyone with information can call the police on 011 724 1058 or 086 001 0111.

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