Horror from the grave

IMAGINE unveiling a tombstone and finding a picture of a stranger inscribed on the stone instead that of your beloved. Shocking.

IMAGINE unveiling a tombstone and finding a picture of a stranger inscribed on the stone instead that of your beloved. Shocking.

Dipuo Bopape of Tshwane was almost paralysed with shock at the weekend when she discovered an image of a stranger engraved on her mother's tombstone instead of that of her mother.

Bopape says she curses the day she employed the services of Vyfster Grafstene/ Tombstones, which now operates from an unidentifiable plot in Onderstepoort near Rosslyn in Pretoria.

She says she does not know what she did wrong to deserve such horrendous treatment from Vyfster Grafstene/Tombstones.

Two years ago Bopape saw a tombstone manufactured by Vyfster Grafstene Tombstones when a friend had invited her to attend a tombstone unveiling of a relative.

She decided to use their services because of the quality of their work.

"In February last year I managed to save money to erect a tombstone to honour the beautiful woman my mother was," Bopape says.

On the February 15 she went to Vyfster and bought a gravestone for her mother and was delighted when they told her they would erect it in the last week of March.

Bopape said she paid R7250, which was the full purchase amount. Vyfster's prices were also reasonable compared to those of other tombs she had seen.

But 21 months later she had no tombstone at her mother's grave.

"I have patiently rang Jacques and Annetjie Brown, the owners of Vyfter Grafstene, to inquire about the tombstone and only got empty promises."

She visited the company's offices many times and could only speak to their salesman who was always alone in the office until Vyfster moved to Onderstepoort without notifying her or leaving a forwarding address.

"I have for the whole of October been trying to phone this place and their number gives a fax tone all the time," Bopape says.

She went to a police station but was told that she could only pursue her case through civil courts.

"I don't think I have to go that route. I don't have money to do so and it will be a lengthy and tiresome process," Bopape says.

It took two weeks for Vyfster Grafstene Tombstones to erect the tombstone after Consumer Line took up Bopape's complaint with Vyster Grafstene.

Jacques Brown says they could not erect a new tombstone because they could not locate Bopape's file.

Brown then promised to construct it a week later, but has failed to do so.

Consumer Line asked Brown to consider reimbursing Bopape but he opted to deliver the stone - which Bopape found so revolting.

Brown has not explained how and why they delivered the offensive tombstone and if he would rectify the mistake or not.