Family distraught over delayed forensic identification of deceased brother

MOUTSE – A family in Moutse is having sleepless nights over the snail’s pace at which the Gauteng forensic division is moving in the identification process of their 41 year-old member who died during a shack fire in Olievenhoutbosch outside Pretoria.

The family’s member, Thapelo Maloba (41), died in a shack fire at Choba section of Olievenhoutbosch on 29 September 2019.

The distraught family in Marapong, Moutse outside Groblersdal, said they found fire-fighters and the community of Choba busy extinguishing the fire after they received a call that day.

Emily Maloba, sister, said her brother’s body was found inside the burnt down shack after community members and fire-fighter put down the fire.

“The body was taken to state mortuary. I went with one of the warrant officers on 01 October 2019 to the forensic department to identify his body. His upper front teeth had a gap. That is how I identified him. DNA samples were taken from him and my mother on that day,” said Emily.

The sister said shockingly since that day, they never had a feedback or any update from the investigating officer on the case regarding the identification process.

“We have been waiting to date. We urgently request help from Saps provincial office to assist us to get the remains of my brother so that we can lay him to rest,” said Emily.

Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, Gauteng Saps Spokesperson, said in a statement that she could confirm that the matter had since been brought to the attention of Saps management at provincial head office following telephonic engagement between herself and the relative of the deceased.

“In this case Emily Maloba contacted me on 07 November and subsequently , on instruction of the Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, a team has now been assigned to assist the family and ensure that the family is appraised on progress made in relation to the investigation of this case,” said Peters.

Peters said the team had to that end visit the family and subsequently follow through with the process of making sure that the required forensic victim identification process is concluded in the best interest of the family.

Thapelo Motseo

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