Hardy rural elder survives mystery morgue ordeal

Chris Bateman


Staff and police summoned to a private mortuary in Libode in the Eastern Cape got the fright of their lives when they heard the stored naked ‘corpse’ of an elderly man, refrigerated 19 hours earlier, complaining of cold and shouting for help.
The case was described by Dr Chris Iheanacho, who later admitted the healthy newly risen Mr Sisitshini Magoqwana to St Barnabas District Hospital, as ‘the strangest I’ve ever encountered’. A very calm Magoqwana walked from the ambulance that brought him from the mortuary, and upon medical examination, was found to be clinically stable. The robustly built Mr Magoqwana is reportedly an asthmatic but was ‘asymptomatic on admission’. Dr Iheanacho said his chest was clear and heart strong and there were no observable signs of alcohol or drug consumption. The grave-Houdini, estimated by doctors as being in his ‘early to mid-60s’, was admitted overnight for observation and discharged the next day.

Author's affiliations

Chris Bateman, HMPG

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mortuary, 'miraculous' awakening from death

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2011;101(9):622,624.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-08-01
Date published: 2011-09-05

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