In African cultural norms and values, the death of a human being is highly respected and ‘playing around with’ or ‘faking’ death is widely considered a taboo.

But, in a puzzling incident, police in South Africa on Sunday arrested a 30-year-old Zimbabwean man who tried to smuggle explosives valued at over R700 000 into the Sadc economic powerhouse using a hearse.

According to state media reports, the contraband which included 306 units of blasting cartridges, and four rims of detonating code estimated at R700 800 were being smuggled using a branded hearse with the name of an unidentified Johannesburg funeral undertaker.

It was, however, not immediately established where exactly the smuggled explosives were destined for.

“Our officers deployed at Beitbridge Border Post apprehended a 30-year-old suspect for smuggling explosives into the country using a funeral undertaker’s vehicle. They were on routine duties at the border post when a vehicle branded with the name of a funeral parlour from Johannesburg in Gauteng, approached towing a trailer,” said police spokesperson for Limpopo Province, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo yesterday.

According to Brig Mojapelo, the suspect will soon appear at Musina magistrates court for trial.

“They (SA police) intercepted the car and upon searching the vehicle and its trailer, police found 306 units of blasting cartridges and four rims of detonating cord estimated at R700 800. The explosives were hidden in the trailer and the driver, who was travelling alone was immediately arrested,” he said.

The latest incident comes after two Zimbabwean women aged 27 and 41, were arrested in South Africa for illegally possessing mining explosives, emulsion blasting cartridges and case fuses with an estimated street value of over R1,2 million.
It is also reported that the explosives in question had been smuggled through illegal points.

In recent weeks, social networking platforms have witnessed the circulation of videos of hearses purpotedly smuggling human bodies concealed under consignments of groceries from South Africa.

Only last week, two Zimbabweans were nabbed at Beitbridge border post for attempting to smuggle boxes of cigarettes which were hidden in a petrol tanker.

state media
Additional Reporting: Zwnews