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Farmer delays granny's funeral for 4 months

By unknown | May 24, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Elijar Mushiana

Elijar Mushiana

A Limpopo family has run up a huge mortuary bill because of the conditions a farmer has set for the funeral to take place on his farm.

Mukumela Tshivhula, 92, pictured, died in January and her body is still at the undertakers' because farmer Henno Breytenbach will not allow her family to bury her on his farm until they comply with his conditions.

Breytenbach said he had allowed the family to bury its members in the past.

"If they follow my rules and not light open fires, invite 30 to 35 people to the funeral, spend one-and-half hours on the farm, make no noise and pay my lawyer's fees of R65 000 cash, they can bury their family member in peace.

"I will even help them dig the grave," he said.

Tshivhula, from Corner Stone Farm in Waterpoort, near Makhado, died after a short illness.

Her son, Sam Tshivhula, said his mother had lived on the farm since she was a child.

He said they had buried 15 other family members on the farm and had not encountered any problems.

"So we are surprised and shocked that we are not allowed to bury our mother. Our ancestors had an orchard on this farm in the 18th century.

"We owe the mortuary a lot of money," said Tshivhula.

The owner of Nzhelele Funeral Undertakers, Sam Ntshauba, said he has not received a cent from the family.

He said he charges R65 a day, but after three months the fee rises to R150 a day.

"The bill is R18 000. I am still treating the body with care," Ntshauba said.

The undertaker said that the chemicals he uses to preserve corpses are expensive. He said officials from the Health and Social Development Department regularly inspect his mortuary.

A devastated Tshivhula said the family was waiting for direction from its lawyers.


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