Huge mortuary costs now a hindrance
MBABANE – Despite winning a High Court battle last week over the burial rights of David Mndzebele, the family finds that it cannot bury him immediately because of the huge cost incurred for keeping him in a mortuary for three years.
His body had been kept at Dups Funeral Home and soon after the court victory last week the family learnt that the bill had risen to E50ã€€000.
David was to be buried shortly after his death when an interim order was issued by the High Court interdicting the funeral slated for July 14, 2009.
Solomon Mndzebele launched the proceedings interdicting Daniel and Phumzile Mndzebele from burying David at their ‘disputed’ homestead at Lobamba Lomdzala.
The order giving a green light to David’s funeral was issued by Judge Qinisile Mabuza last Wednesday.
The Mndzebeles are initially from Mankayane where their forefathers had a home. Their descendants moved to Lobamba Lomdzala where they settled.
Daniel is Solomon’s uncle and Phumzile was David’s wife. She remained the only wife after her counterpart left the family.
According to David’s sister, Thabile Simelane (nee Mndzebele) they had intended to conduct the funeral on the weekend the judgment was issued.
However, due to the challenges that they have encountered with storage and funeral costs at Dups Funeral Home, they have since suspended the funeral to solicit the funds that are due.
"Now that the judgment is out Dups has indicated that we owe E50 000 as storage costs. We do not have this amount as we have already paid over E30 000 in legal fees for the case to be completed," she said.
Dups Corporate Affairs Manager Ann Leibbrandt said the company had met with the Mndzebele family and offered 50 per cent discount on the storage costs, so the family could proceed with the burial of their loved one.
Leibbrandt said this was a loss to the company but they sympathise with the family because it was the court which took three years to settle the matter.
She further elaborated that in January 2012 a mass pauper’s funeral was conducted by Dups Funeral Home.
The Mndzebele family was notified of this, as according to the Swaziland Funeral Gazette legislation, an unclaimed deceased left in a mortuary for a period of over three months or more is classified as a ‘pauper’, and becomes the responsibility of the state to bear the cost of a pauper’s funeral.
The Mndzebeles declined this offer, preferring to conduct their own burial upon outcome of the court case.
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