Mattera slams undertaker

Katlego Moeng

Katlego Moeng

Award-winning poet and social activist Don Mattera has lashed out at Rose Funeral Undertakers and labelled them "crooks" after they failed to bury his brother-in-law.

The funeral business belongs to former boxing champion Dingaan "The Rose of Soweto" Thobela.

Mattera said they had to pay for his brother-in-law John du Plessis' funeral after the undertaker refused to honour a policy the family has had with The Rose for the last eight years.

Du Plessis died last week but when his wife Grace, who is Mattera's sister, went to the parlour to make arrangements for her husband's funeral she got the shock of her life.

"They said we had tot pay another R4 500 for them to bury my husband," the aggrieved widow said. "They even refused to give us his body, saying they wanted R850 for it."

She said her funeral policy is paid up until September, "So I don't understand why they are doing this."

Du Plessis said she understands that prices go up, "But why did they not inform us earlier about this, not now when we need the service."

Mattera said: "Those people were so insensitive. I am even more upset because I have been endorsing that undertaker to friends and neighbours."

But Edward Mutungutungu, a manager at The Rose, said: "All increases were communicated to all our members so they should have known.

"These are not changes to their policies but are service and administration increases due to inflation and the fact that we moved offices.

"Had they looked properly at the details of benefits in their letters they should not be surprised."

Du Plessis was buried on Saturday by another undertaker.