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MAHAMBA – A bereaved family was left frustrated on Friday night after they were stopped by a church from burying their loved one on its premises.

This was apparently on the ground that the deceased was not a member of the church, hence the decision for a court application to stop the funeral by the Mahamba Methodist Church on Friday.

While in his founding affidavit church leader Victor Dlamini concedes that, in the past, the religious body would allow community members to make use of the cemetery, he, however, said the latest position adopted by the church was to close the premises from the general public due to shrinking space.

Tears flowed when proceedings were stopped by the police, forcing the bereaved family to locate another burial site at the eleventh hour.
The drama unfolded at a Matsebula family at Mahamba, where an eleventh hour court challenge was successfully made by the Mahamba Methodist church, which subsequently obtained an interim order that is returnable on February 13, 2018.

The application sought an interim order barring the family of the deceased textile worker Sibongile Matsebula from burying her at the church cemetery, which all along had been the norm for the family and other community members.
Following the death of the woman, her bereaved family began preparing for her funeral which had been scheduled for Saturday morning at the country’s oldest church’s graveyard.

A grave had already been dug and arrangements were underway for the beginning of a vigil at Sibongile’s homestead, when a team of about 12 armed police officers stepped in at around 10pm to stop the proceedings.

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