BODIES BURIED TWICE IN MISTAKEN CORPSE IDENTITY
The body of 67 year old Gatwesepe ‘MmaShoti’ Badirile of Serorome ward in Palapye was reburied last weekend following a corpse misidentification at the morgue.
Speaking to The Voice, the son to the deceased woman, Dikgakololo Galetlhaole, said when they were preparing for the funeral the chief came to his home and he was told that his mother had already been buried.
“I was shocked to hear that and I wondered what could have happened.
The other family had mistaken their corpse and buried my mother instead.
What surprised me was how come they took a wrong body and even the public who attended the funeral did not notice the mistake.
The tray that had my mother’s body had been labelled P5, and when the parlour finally realised that they had messed up they suggested that I bury the Atshwareng corpse but I refused.
I wanted my family to pay their last respects and give my mother a fitting send off.
It took sometime to have the body exhumed as it was over the weekend when the mistake was noticed.
On Monday the District Commissioner and police officers gave us the permission,” Galetlhaole said.
He said when the body was exhumed his mother’s name was still written on the cloth she was covered with.
When he asked why they did not notice the labelling, he said the Atshwareng family told him that they found the body already covered in the coffin.
Galetlhaole’s brother, Kamogelo said he was not happy with the way the funeral parlour had handled the matter.
He said they did not even come to their place and explain what had transpired or at least to apologize.
“They really undermined us. Had our mother been a prominent person they would shown some courtesy.
Emotionally, my family is hurting and even today we cannot explain what happened.
Our hearts are broken; we are asking ourselves why our mother should be buried twice.
That’s negligence. We have different beliefs and I wonder what would have happened if the other family performed rituals on a body before burial,” Galetlhaole wondered.
Chisomo Seveni of Roseanne funeral parlour denied responsibility and said the Atshwareng family were responsible for the mix up.
He accused them of misidentifying the body. “They were five when they came to collect the body but only one person said it was not her and they argued for a long time until the other four convinced her.
We realized the following day after the person who received Badirile’s body did not find it in P 5 tray.
We then reported the matter to the chief. These kind of mistakes do happen in countries like China even locally but it was for the first time in our parlour.
We are very sorry about what happened and we even decided to give Badirile family a discount on the coffin” Seveni said.
The Atshwareng family refused to comment on the matter.