Image: Bagolo News

A Limpopo family is in utter disbelief after discovering that robbers desecrated the grave and stole the corpse of their late relative.

Modike Phillemon Masedi from Mopani District died on 15 January 2022 and was buried seven days later on the 22nd.

SowetanLIVE reports that Phillemon’s relative visited his resting place at a cemetery in Limpopo to clean his grave as they were preparing for his tombstone unveiling, which was to take place soon.

When she got there, the horrifying sight of the grave deeply shook her. Robbers had destroyed the grave, drawn out the coffin and spirited off with the corpse.

The coffin was just left open beside the grave. The family immediately reported the bizarre matter to the police on 5 February.

South African Police Service spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed the incident:

“The police, upon arriving at the scene, discovered an open coffin with no corpse inside. A preliminary probe conducted at the scene established that the suspect(s) accessed the graveyard by cutting the side fence.

“They then dug a hole next to the grave to gain access to the coffin and stole the corpse. The motive is unknown at this stage.”

The corpse heist has divided the Masedi family and the Mokwakwaila community, as people are now accusing each other of stealing the corpse for ritual purposes.

Limpopo provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Thembi Hadebe commented:

“We call on community members to respect the unfolding investigations conducted by the police and desist from pointing fingers as these often play into instigators of vigilantism, in which people take the law into their own hands.”

The horrifying corpse heist evoked mixed sentiments on social media.


“Upcoming tombstone unveiling 🤔 Missing corpse🤔 I’m sorry, but this has “FAMILY” written all over it!!!!”


“I wonder how many tombs are empty. Just that this one, they forgot to close the grave…”


“Ask the family who might have wanted him to be buried somewhere.”


“So one is no longer safe even in your grave. Aai, this is a sick world 🤚😳”


“They are stealing kids, Corpses, sanitary pads, and shadows for rituals. What’s next ?😩”