. . . post-mortem depicts grisly picture of injuries
TEBOHO KHATEBE MOLEFI
MASERU – The late ’Mahlompho Matela’s maiden family has applied or an injunction to stop her burial by her suspected killer husband and his family will be lodged with the High Court soon. According to the founding affidavit of ’Maketle Mofolo Ntšihlele, the deceased’s elder sister, ’Mahlompho was killed for failing to give her mother-in-law M20 and “for some other premediated reasons that are known only to the First Respondent (Qamo Matela).”
The accused person, Qamo, who is standing trial for allegedly killing his wife, has been charged with murder and is currently out on bail. He appeared in court last Friday and was granted bail on Monday. Born Rethabile Christina Mofolo, the deceased’s family has since moved to file an application before court seeking to stop the husband and his family from burying ’Mahlompho.
The Mofolo family wants the Lesotho Funeral Services – where ’Mahlompho’s body is kept – to be ordered not to release her corpse to Qamo as First Respondent, to his family and or his agents and that ’Mahlompho’s corpse should be released to the Mofolo family who should be authorised to bury her at her Maqhaka maiden home in the district of Maseru.
The family seeks an order for Vodacom Lesotho to be authorised to release or facilitate the release of the funds for purposes of burial of ’Mahlompho to her maiden family. “That the first respondent be declared unfit to bury the corpse of his late wife ’Mahlompho Matela – born Rethabile Christina Mofolo – or to benefit from proceeds accruing out of her part of the joint estate.
“And that pending the finalisation of this application all parties should not access, use or interfere with any funds belonging to the late ’Mahlompho,” reads the court papers in part. All parties involved in this litigation, the family pleads, should be interdicted from accessing or administering any funds connected with the deceased and that the Master of the High Court should administer her estate on behalf of her minor children.
They also want for Qamo to be declared unfit to raise and have custody of their minor children Hlompho and Thoriso Matela, and that the Master of the High Court should make a specific enquiry, involve a social worker and report to court accordingly in respect of what is in the best interest of the children regarding their custody and the proper place of their abode. The report of a post-mortem examination conducted on September 18, which Public Eye has seen, reveals that the deceased died from traumatic internal bleeding; she is reported to have been seriously assaulted, admitted to hospital and later died.
According to the report, externally ’Mahlompho’s corpse had multiple bruises on the chest, bruises on the left eye, bruises and scratches on the neck, bleeding in the muscles of the neck and the scalp. She had a collection of blood in the subdural space of the brain (the outermost, toughest, and most fibrous of the three membranes covering the brain and the spinal cord). ’Mahlompho also had massive collection of blood in the thoracic cavity (the second largest hollow space of the body enclosed by the ribs, the vertebral column, and the breastbone), on the left and on the right.
She had also collected a lot of blood in the peritoneal cavity (the space within the abdomen that contains the intestines, the stomach, and the liver). According to the post-mortem report, ’Mahlompho also had a laceration of the liver with a lot of blood in the peritoneal cavity. And her sister claims in her founding affidavit that Qamo and his family “prior to obtaining the post mortem report were already making attempts to procure a report that falsifies the cause of death.
“I submit that I will divulge the greater part of this information to police as it contains a possible additional charge to that of murder.” Mofolo Ntšihlele’s affidavit further reads: “I submit that the family of the first respondent has gone to great lengths to claim that the deceased has died as result of Covid-19, which is false.” Following Qamo’s arrest after the murder of ’Mahlompho, here is an accurate account of what happened:
- Murder charge was read last Friday before the Berea Magistrate Court.
- Bail was applied for on Monday, September 20 – his bail application was not on the roll of cases for that day.
- The bail application was not opposed by the Police or Director of Public Prosecutions. (Bail is treated as urgent so even the one that is not on the bail lists can be decided upon by the court. If the judge is not told that the bail is opposed then, in most cases, it is automatically given.)
- The judge who granted bail was not told of any objections to giving bail.