Body of missing man found hanging from tree


THE family of a man who was found hanging from a tree in Woodlands, Bulawayo on Wednesday has disputed the results of the post-mortem revealing that he had committed suicide and is demanding a fresh autopsy.

According to the post-mortem report that was issued on Thursday, Jack Nyathi (45) who had been missing for 18 days died of asphyxia and hanging even as the family insists that he may have been killed.

The report put the date and time of death as between 28 May and 14 June.

When Sunday News spoke to the deceased’s brother, Mr Emmanuel Nyathi, he disputed the findings and said his family felt that his brother may have been murdered.

Mr Nyathi said his brother would be buried today, but the family was preparing to petition the State to allow them to exhume the body as soon as possible for another post-mortem.

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“The post-mortem report stated that my brother died as a result of suicide and no foul play was suspected. However, when we went to the site where his body was found today (yesterday), we found traces of blood and an iron bar which we think may have been used to assault or torture my brother.

“We have no choice but to bury him tomorrow (today), but we are exploring the possibility of having his body exhumed as soon as possible and seek a second opinion from another pathologist as to the cause of death,” Mr Nyathi said.

According to Mr Nyathi, his brother went missing on the night of 28 May after he had called his boss, telling him that he was tied up and people were threatening to kill him.

The employer then called the police on the same night before accompanying the deceased’s brother to Bulawayo Central Police Station to report the matter.

“I received a call from my brother’s boss on the night of May 28 and he said Jack had called him at around 10 or 11pm that same night and told him that some people had tied him and threatened to kill him.

“We made a formal report with the police the following day. We tried to look for him for 18 days and even went through the same bush a few times. At one point we asked the police to use sniffer dogs to try and find him but this was not done until some men who were poaching sand in the area saw his body hanging from a tree.

“These people reported the matter at Hillside Police Station and also called me because one of them had heard that we were looking for Jack who was missing. I went to the police station and then accompanied them to the bushy area where we found my brother hanging,” Mr Nyathi explained.

Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed that no foul play was suspected and the official cause of death was suicide.

“We received reports that a body had been discovered hanging from a tree in a bushy area near the Woodlands Shopping Centre. According to the post-mortem report by the pathologist at United Bulawayo Hospitals, the deceased, Jack Nyathi died of asphyxia and hanging and we suspect no foul play. The body was found in a state of decomposition,” Insp Ncube said.

Insp Ncube also urged the public to seek help from family members, counsellors and churches before electing to take their own lives.

— Sunday News

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