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‘Private parts removed from body’

MASERU — A father testifying in a murder case told the court he was shocked to discover that his dead daughter’s body did not have its sexual organs.

Letsatsi Mokhathatsi’s 30-year-old daughter Matseliso was allegedly murdered in 2005.

Mokhathatsi told the court that after his daughter was buried he got a report from the police that her body would be exhumed for examination as part of investigations into the suspected murder.

The state alleges that Matseliso was murdered while at an initiation school at Khohlopo village in Thaba-Tseka district.

Four men are being charged with the murder.

Nyatso Ratalane, who had convened the initiation ritual, and three instructors — ‘Mapitikoe Ratalane, ‘Mapolao Pitso and ‘Matumelo Mafenoane — appeared in court last Tuesday.

They pleaded not guilty to the charge.

“After the exhumation the body was examined at the cemetery in the presence of the police and a doctor,” Mokhathatsi told the court.

“I discovered that her private parts had been removed and what remained was white flesh.”

“We buried the body again,” he added.

Matseliso was still breast-feeding her then three-month-old baby when she went to the initiation school.

Mokhathatsi, who is the first crown witness, was giving evidence before Justice Kelello Guni and two assessors.

He said he had received a message from the initiation school that his daughter was seriously ill.

“My wife informed me that she did not reach the donga where the initiates were, but had been informed that (my daughter) was seriously ill.”

Mokhathatsi said he visited the school the following day but was told that she was recovering and feeling better.

He said he did not see Matseliso because the organisers had told him that only two women were allowed into the room she was being kept.

Mokhathatsi said he returned home but the following day he got another message from Ratalane informing him that Matseliso had died.

They took the body to Mantsonyane mortuary.

Mokhathatsi said at the mortuary he observed that the deceased was bleeding from the nostrils and had three stab wounds under her breasts.

He said her body was also swollen.

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