*Devastated mother suspects her son was killed for rituals *Body was found with hand missing
His family insist he was murdered, his body mutilated for muti. The cops, however, maintain foul play was not involved.
Last Wednesday, relatives found 37-year-old Simon Keitsile’s decomposing corpse laid out in the backyard of his home in Thamaga’s Morepo ward.
The taxi-driver’s left hand was missing, his lifeless body allegedly surrounded by seven different coloured candles.
The father-of-two was lying face down on top of a small fireplace, his scorched overalls revealing a toned stomach scalded by fire.
Keitsile’s last moments remain a mystery; his grief-stricken mother Khumoyame Keabile, 67, will not rest until she finds out exactly what happened to the man locals describe as ‘friendly, loving and an excellent father to his two girls.’
In an emotional interview with The Voice as she struggles to come to terms with her son’s sudden death, Keabile said she last saw her child – the sixth born of 12 and the family’s main breadwinner – on Monday.
“He came to my house at lunchtime and later in the evening we parted as he went home,” narrated the frail old woman, who revealed she was already in mourning following the death of her husband back in December.
According to Keabile, the first sign something was wrong came the following day when Keitsile failed to pick up the school kids he was hired to ferry.
“They tried to call him but his phone rang unanswered. Later in the afternoon, some friends went to check on him at his home. His taxi was parked in the yard and when they knocked on the door they found it unlocked but my son was not inside. They assumed he must have gone for a walk somewhere nearby,” she explained, adding that by Wednesday afternoon Keitsile had still not turned up.
“His uncle heard he was missing and went to check on him. As he was searching the yard, he noticed a reflection of light caused by Simon’s overalls. He went closer and found my son’s body,” exclaimed Keabile, adding sadly, “He was not in a good condition!
Keitseile was buried the next day after police completed a post-mortem.
Corroborating the incident, Police Spokesperson Senior Superintendent Near Bagali confirmed the deceased’s body was found decomposed and that a pathologist was called to carry out tests.
“There was no foul play. It is suspected that the missing hand might have been eaten by animals; it is not that it was cut,” stated Bagali.
The medical report indicates Keitsile died of heart failure; however, his mum remains unconvinced.
“I suspect my son was killed, why is his hand missing? Where are the bones? He also had a wound at the back of his head. I want it to be clear that my son was killed!”
Anger burning brightly in her dark, heavily-lined eyes, Keabile went on to say, “As a family of Zion Christian Church we do not use candles. I really cannot understand why he was surrounded by candles, as if a spiritual ceremony was conducted!
“He might have been killed for rituals,” she concludes, her thin shoulders shivering with dread at the thought.
The deceased’s grandfather, 54-year-old Keagile Keitsile voiced his concern at the medical report.
“How can they say my grandson’s hand was eaten by rats or dogs when not even the skeleton was left!” fumed Keitsile senior, adding he was hopeful doctors would update the family with a ‘proper’ report as they had promised to take samples to the laboratory for testing.
Until then, uncertainty, grief and suspicion hangs heavily over the Keitsile clan.