33-year-old Nomveliso Nomasonto Modyi of the Mthayisi village near Mbizana, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, died suddenly while nine months pregnant.
The mother of five bizarrely gave birth though ten days after her death with staff at the funeral parlour discovering the stillborn child in her coffin.
Shocked to find the body of the child in the coffin, Lindokuhle Funeral parlour owner Fundile Makalana has said that his staff have been left traumatised by the incident.
He told The Daily Dispatch:
When we took the body from the mortuary tray to her coffin we discovered that there was a newly born baby between her legs.
We were so shocked and frightened that we did not even have time to look at the sex of the baby. I have been in the business for more than 20 years and I have never heard of a dead woman giving birth.
Even after birth the stomach area was still bloated.
Following the discovery the mother and her stillborn child were buried together in one big coffin on Saturday.
The deceased woman’s mother, Madzala Mdoyi, 76, confirmed that her daughter died suddenly at her home after becoming short of breath.
We appeal to the educated people, people who know better, to please cool us down and explain to us how it is possible for a dead woman to give birth.
I am now over 70 years old and never heard of such a thing. Why is that happening on my child?
First‚ I was devastated by the untimely death of my daughter and now I got the shock of my life to learn that she has given birth while she had been dead for 10 days.
What is that? God please come and intervene.
Mbikelwa Mpithi, a spokesman for the family, has stated that both medical experts and sangomas will be consulted to find out more about how the birth happened.
We cannot sit down and fold hands as if it is business as normal. We want to know more about this.
It is currently believed that the build up of gases in the body may have pushed the foetus out or that the deterioration of muscles may have also contributed.
Remarkably a number of similar incidents have been reported in other countries around the world.