Maruti Nkuna's family expected his common-law wife to attend his funeral. But Mantombi Makuleni did not show up.
Neither did she send her condolences, which has left his family angry and baffled.
Popularly known as Umanji, Nkuna died two weeks ago of an Aids-related infection. His wife was exposed by Sunday World newspaper last year as a prostitute.
Yesterday, Umanji's younger brother, Andries Mashaba, said they were disappointed that Makuleni had shunned the bereaved family.
Mashaba said: "The family was very disturbed by her absence. We had hoped she would come before the funeral to help with arrangements, but there was no sign of her."
But a source from Umanji's family said the woman was still petrified after they accused her of infecting him with the deadly virus. "Umanji's family learnt that Mantombi was a prostitute who operated in Randburg. Since then, Umanji's mother had accused her of infecting her son."
Umanji, who lived in Jeppestown, Johannesburg, when he met Makuleni in Randburg, returned home to Zebediela village in Limpopo when he fell ill.
He lived in an RDP house with his mother at the time of his death - penniless.
He revealed his HIV status after he was diagnosed with TB in 2006. He died at Zebediela Hospital two weeks ago.
He died a poor man and people had to collect money for him to be buried.