Bizzare saga of headless body continues


. . . mother says hospital covering up ‘ritual murder’


LERIBE — The family of a Pitseng woman whose decapitated body was found in the courtyard of the Motebang Hospital wants both the health facility and the Leribe police to be held accountable for the “apparent ritual murder” of their daughter. The deceased, ’Malibuso Mofube, nee Relebohile Maraisane, mysteriously went missing from the government-owned hospital wards, after she was allegedly admitted with her one-year-and-six-month son on June 1.

Her family claims that earlier that day when she left her Pitseng residence in a hired taxi, she could not walk unaided, as she was terminally ill. But, according to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, ’Mateboho Mosebeko, there are no records of Mofube’s admission at the hospital. “The records show that only her infant son was admitted on the stipulated date,” she told Public Eye, adding that Mofube only entered the facility to help take care of her young ill child.

The deceased woman’s mother, ’Malerata Maraisane, has taken a swipe at the hospital, accusing it of négligence and sheer unprofessionalism. An unwavering Maraisane demands to know how her daughter ended up dead with a number of her body organs, including the head, an arm, part of the stomach, both breasts and her genitals missing.

She contends that both the hospital and the Leribe police should be held accountable for her daughter’s mysterious death as they failed to respond on time when she reported her missing on more than one occasion. “To date, we have not received any clear explanation from either the hospital or the police as to what really happened to my child,” a distraught Maraisane told Public Eye on Monday this week.

“Malibuso and her young son were very ill when they left their home on June 1. She was so ill that she could not walk on her own without support. We called a taxi to take them to the nearest clinic. “Upon arrival at the clinic, they were transferred to Motebang hospital, where they both got admitted. But no admission documents were signed by a family member, who had accompanied them,” she said.

But Mosebekoa maintains that reports from Motebang hospital show that after her son was admitted at the health centre, Mofube duly signed his admission papers. “The nurse who was duty reported that on June 5, when she entered the ward where both of them were at around 5am, the mother was nowhere to be seen.”

Mosebekoa told Public Eye that the nurse had a conversation with Mofube about two hours before, and that she (Mofube) informed her that she wanted to leave the hospital. “The nurse said Mofube told her that she received a message from her in-laws that they wanted her to return home immediately. But the nurse and Mofube agreed that she would leave the hospital later as it was too early in the morning.”

Mosebekoa said when the nurses’ shift changed at 5am and when different nurses came on duty, they immediately noticed that one of the ward windows had been opened and Mofube was not there. Her strange disappearance was reported to the hospital security and investigations into the matter soon ensued.

Mosebekoa said later in the day, during the patients’ visiting hours, Maraisane came to visit her daughter and grandson but found that Mofube had gone missing. She said on August 7, a janitor who was cleaning the hospital yard found a human skull and reported the bizarre incident to the casualty nurses on duty.

The matter was subsequently reported to the Leribe police, who dispatched two detectives to investigate. After a thorough search of the hospital premises, police found a decapitated human body, that also had other organs missing, Mosebekoa said. However, the family claims that when they examined the body in the mortuary, it was not decomposed, as they had assumed given the time their daughter had gone missing.

Mosebekoa said: “The ministry is still waiting for the police to finalise their investigations so that the hospital could have a complete report of the incident. “The unexplained part of the equation is that ’Malibuso’s aunt, who had taken her to the hospital, was told not to sign her admission papers because she (’Malibuso) was capable of doing it herself, but now the hospital denies everything, including her admission into the facility,” Maraisane said.

She added: “Nobody, including the police, seems to know how my daughter disappeared from the ward and how she ended up dead, with her head and other body parts missing.” She said when she reported her daughter’s unexplained disappearance from the hospital to the police on two occasions, the officers on duty did not bother to take her statement.

“It is only after I had reported the incident to the Ministry of Health, where I was in turn referred back to the police, that the police took my statement.” To add insult to injury, Maraisane claims that earlier in July, she was denied access to the state mortuary by the police in search of her missing daughter’s body.

“I wanted to ensure that if she had died elsewhere, maybe her body would wind up at the state mortuary, but the police could not let me look through the morgue,” she explained. After her daughter had gone missing for over two months, Maraisane received information on August 7 about a human torso that was found in the hospital courtyard.

“Although some parts of the body were missing, the family was able to identify it as ’Malibuso’s through the birthmarks on the legs,” she said. The deceased is survived by her husband and three children. Asked for comment, police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Kabelo Halahala said although doctor’s postmortem report does not clearly indicate what really happened to the body, they are working towards finding the true cause of the death.

“Police investigations are continuing and soon we will know what really happened,” he told Public Eye.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *