Widow, in-laws in bitter war

Kamogelo Seekoei andWinkie Dibakwane

Kamogelo Seekoei andWinkie Dibakwane

Xoliswa Hegeni says her parents wouldn't stop interfering in her marriage. Now her husband is dead, her father is in a jail cell and the two families are in a tug of war over his burial.

Hegeni has won a court order preventing her in-laws from burying their son.

Her father allegedly shot and killed Thulani Ngobeni at her home in Phiri, Soweto, on February 9. Ngobeni was taken to Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital but died later that day.

Mhlifame Hegeni has been charged with murder. He appeared briefly in the Protea magistrate's court yesterday and the case was postponed for further investigations.

Hegeni married Ngobeni in a customary ceremony a year ago. But her distraught in-laws want nothing to do with the Hegeni family and insist they will bury their son without her participation.

Hegeni won a court order last Friday to stop the Ngobenis from burying her husband last Saturday. His body has been lying in a mortuary for the past two weeks as the people who love him most bicker over his fate.

Hegeni fetched her husband's body from a mortuary in Makapanstad, Pretoria, on Wednesday where her in-laws had kept him until he could be buried.

The Ngobenis had held a meeting and had decided to bar Hegeni and the couple's one-year-old son from attending the funeral they had planned at Makapanstad.