MADALA ANDRIES made it clear to his family that he wanted to be buried with his ancestors. But the old man's dying wish cannot be fulfilled. His girlfriend has taken his body and hidden it where the family can't find it.

A week before Andries Mhambi (73) died, he told the family he wanted to be buried in Mahikeng, North West. He said it was the place where his ancestors were buried and the place where he grew up.

But after Andries died on Monday, the woman, Matebogo Serebe (52), Andries' girlfriend, had the body taken from Chris Hani Hospital. It appears she took the body to a mortuary but the family don't know where it is, so the madala's wishes can't be honoured.

Andries' sister, Dorcas Mabika (63) from Braamfischer, Soweto, said losing her brother was hard enough but the woman he lived with has brought them even more pain.

"When my brother died we went to the hospital, but then we met Matebogo at the hospital and she told us she was going to bury Andries," said Dorcas.

Dorcas said Matebogo took Andries' ID book and the death certificate and moved the body to a private mortuary.

"We don't want to fight with Matebogo. We only want to fulfil his dreams of resting where he belongs. His spirit will never rest if he is not buried in Mahikeng," said Dorcas.

She said he loved everyone at home.

"His family will be at the funeral but we don't know when it is going to take place," she said.

Andries' granddaughter Promise Mhambi (40) said the family needs to perform certain rituals.

"If no rituals are performed, it will bring bad luck on the family because Andries will be angry with us for not respecting him."

The news crew phoned Matebogo but she wouldn't talk to us.

"I won't talk to the newspapers about my personal matters," she said before switching off her phone.


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