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Family’s trauma: morgue van delay

By Zama Myeza

S'phelele Gcabashe (37) was kidnapped this week from Umlazi, close to where he stayed. His body was found on Thursday, also close to where he lived.

crime scene police

A Durban family who witnessed their loved one being tortured on video had to endure even more headache when his body remained uncollected on the road for about 12 hours.

S’phelele Gcabashe (37) was kidnapped this week from Umlazi, close to where he stayed. His body was found on Thursday, also close to where he lived.

His uncle, Bhekisisa Mncube, told The Witness on Friday that Gcabashe was kidnapped and held hostage.

His kidnappers tortured him to death before dumping his body.

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“His body was dumped like a dog,” said Mncube.

Gcabashe was originally from Ulundi but moved to Umlazi for his work.

Gcabashe was allegedly a fraudster.

“We knew that he had enemies all over, but no one deserves to be killed,” said Mncube.

He added that Gcabashe was kidnapped because the kidnappers wanted to get their R31 000 back from him which he allegedly owed them.

Mncube added he was probably killed by someone he knew and owed this money to.

The kidnappers were in possession of his phone. They took videos of him being tortured. They also took videos of him when he had passed on and posted it on his Whatsapp status. One of our neighbours saw his status and informed the family of where his body could be found.

In the videos, the kidnappers are heard taunting Gcabashe and calling him all sorts of names as he was dying.

When the police reported to the scene, they informed the Department of Health of the body that was lying in Umlazi.

According to the family, the body was not collected for about 12 hours.

“We kept on calling the mortuary. They kept on saying ‘the van just left’ or that ‘they are on the way’. This went on for a while and my nephew’s body was just laying there the entire time.

We are very disappointed. I am most worried because he was in the sun for quite some time. This might affect the integrity of the body which might cause the post mortem to be compromised,” said Mncube.

The family had opened a case of kidnapping at the Umlazi Police Station when he went missing.

Another family member, who did not want to be named, said, “We went to the police station when we found his body to develop the case to be a murder case, the police told us that they do not do such things on Fridays.”

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The Department of Health was sent questions on why the mortuary van arrived so late but did not comment at the time of publication.

Police had not responded to requests for comment by the time of publication.