11 June 2019

South Africa: 'How Can a Human Being Smoke Another Person?' - Devastated Bloem Family

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(file photo).

A Bloemfontein household has been left devastated after the ashes of a loved one was stolen during a burglary.

And now, they fear his remains will be mixed with other substances to "make a drug that they smoke".

Lucinda Annandale told News24 that her family had heard from "numerous people" that people's ashes were being used this way.

"We are devastated. How can a human being smoke another person? I am nauseous just thinking about it," she said.

Two years ago, The Citizen reported that whoonga (also known as nyaope) addicts were rumoured to have used human ashes to add volume to their hit.

The Annandale home was burgled early on Thursday morning as the family slept.

Thieves had entered through a window in the TV room of their Pellissier home.

In addition to stealing a TV set, cellphone and bedding, a wallet and handbag were also stolen from the kitchen.

Annandale explained that the ashes of her brother and two dogs were kept in boxes on a table in the dining room.

Jonty Annandale died on July 27, 2014, a day before what would have been his 21st birthday. He had suffered from flu-related complications, which resulted in heart problems.

The family's five dogs had been downstairs at the time of the break-in.

"They were a bit restless and barked. My dad and my brother both got up and went upstairs to check if there was something going on, but they didn't notice anything."

Her mother only realized the next morning that something was amiss when she noticed the window had no burglar bars.

Annandale's grandparents, who live in a separate house on the property, were unharmed.

Her grandfather found the box in which one of the dog's ashes were stored near his fence.

"But it was empty. The ashes were gone," she said.

That night, a relative was contacted by a resident whose gardener had found her cards and Jonty's broken and empty ash box. It had a plate bearing his name and date of death, which had been removed.

The next day, she found a plastic bag in which one of the dogs' ashes had been stored. It was also empty.

On a nearby veld, Jonty's cremation certificate was found.

Annandale said the family was "very sad".

"Now we don't have anything left of Jonty. Even though it was only ashes, we still thought of him as being home.

"I cry constantly. I wish I can just get hold of one of them; I will kill them with my bare hands. My mom and I are too scared to be in our own house now.

"They not only took my brother, money and a TV, they also took our peace of mind that we are safe in our house."

Free State police spokesperson Sergeant Fikiswa Matoti said the burglary was being investigated.

No arrests have been made.

Source: News24

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