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Doves helps send dead back home

By unknown | Apr 25, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Nthabi Moreosele

Nthabi Moreosele

Ever wondered about other nations' traditions and customs, and how different or similar they are to yours?

Freddie Senekal has an unusual job. He deals with the repatriation of the dead. He makes sure they return to South Africa or are repatriated to their homelands.

Senekal is Doves Gauteng area manager for repatriation.

"We send the departed home to Zimbabwe, Malawi, Cameroon and worldwide," says Senekal.

"About 90percent of my work in Johannesburg is international. Clients come to us because they know that we do all the documentation for them.

"We also have contracts with certain hospitals to return the bodies of their patients home. Many foreigners who come to South Africa for treatment, come alone and, if their treatment does not succeed, they have to be returned to their countries."

"We do all the paperwork and keep the family informed at all times. We embalm the bodies in-house, put them into a zinc-lined coffin and then fly them home."

Senekal says the deceased are prepared according to their religion or family wishes. "The Congolese order everything that is top of the line. We have to buy a wedding dress if the deceased is a mature female and a wedding suit for a man."

"They are fond of buying our top of the range coffin, which is the 'Phumlani'. It is very heavy, but they're willingly pay the freight costs."

Senekal says he travels the world to talk to undertakers in other countries who co-ordinate with him during repatriation of the corpses.


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