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Family wants daughter’s body exhumed

The High Court of Lesotho

June 22, 2021 3 min read

3 min read

THE family of a woman who mysteriously died after a sum of M350 000 was erroneously deposited into her husband’s bank account earlier this year has asked the High Court to issue an order to exhume her body in order to conduct a post-mortem.

It claims that the deposited money actually belonged to their daughter Bokang Theko or ’Makatleho Makatla and not to her husband Lebohang Makatla.

The family represented by Machabe Theko in the court papers suspects foul play in ’Makatleho’s death, arguing that she showed no sign of ill-health before her sudden death in May.

After she died, the family claims that her husband refused to have an autopsy conducted on her body.

In the court papers filed on Monday, the family claims that Makatla only announced after her passing how he nursed his sickly wife for a long time.

The family has therefore asked the court to restrain Makatla who is the first respondent in the matter from preventing the exhumation and the subsequent autopsy.
It has also asked the court to direct the second respondent, the Commissioner of Police to assist wherever necessary in the execution of the orders sought.
Theko says although Makatla claimed not to know the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death, he however refused to conduct the post-mortem when the family asked him to.

He says the first statement Makatla made to the police about his wife’s death is inconsistent with the one he made thereafter.

“It is important to state that there was money which was erroneously transferred to Lebohang's account instead of Bokang's account, money to the value of M350 000 plus M20 000 meant to buy a car,” Theko says in his affidavit.

He says on May 25, there was a spat over the money with the deceased demanding it back while her husband refused to hand it over.

But finally, he says Makatla agreed to surrender the cash to his wife.

The deceased, he says died shortly thereafter before the money was returned to her.

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Prior to their daughter’s burial on May 29, Theko says the family made several efforts to persuade Makatla to conduct the autopsy on his late wife’s corpse but to no avail.

In support of the urgency of the application, the family has stated that on account of the fact that the body has already been buried, it might have decomposed.

The family has therefore shown that a delay of the postmortem may interfere with police investigations and defeat the ends of justice.
“The first respondent (Makatla) will not suffer any irreparable harm should the case be heard speedily and the deceased's body be exhumed and examined,” the affidavit further shows.

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