Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The funeral of a Limpopo man who died three weeks ago had to be postponed at the weekend following a fierce dispute among family members over who should bury him.

The incident happened at Kromhoek, GaMakgato, on Saturday over the body of Samuel Phaladi, who died on February 5.

Phaladi's wife, Morafi, 32, collapsed a few minutes before the funeral after an argument with her sister-in-law, Josephine, over the funeral date.

Morafi was taken to the village's clinic and later transferred to a hospital in Polokwane where she regained consciousness.

At the centre of the controversy is that Josephine had allegedly connived with her late brother's 31-year-old concubine, Maria, to conduct the funeral on Saturday without first consulting with Morafi.

Morafi said: "I was not informed about the death of my husband.

"I only knew two days before the funeral.

"To rub salt in the wound, the family did not officially tell me about his death.

"They also forbade me from visiting him at the hospital when he was sick. They also denied me access to see his body at the mortuary," said a tearful Morafi yesterday.

Morafi said Josephine had connived with another woman who was romantically involved with her husband to organise the funeral without her.

"They even stole my identity document and marriage certificate and tried to fabricate a marriage behind my back."

On Saturday scores of mourners stood outside the gate wondering whether the funeral would go ahead.

The hearse stood in the scorching sun unattended.

The mourners said the coffin had been in the car in the blazing sun since early morning until midday.

Meanwhile, inside the yard the rival families were involved in a fierce argument.

The funeral was postponed.

Josephine refused to speak to Sowetan.