Residents bid to stop funeral fails

THE BODY of a Zimbabwean man, which was kept in the morgue for nearly six weeks, was finally buried at the weekend.

The body of Orlando Hlongwane, 32, was buried in an emotional funeral in Ga-Boqa, near Giyani, in the Greater Letaba municipality on Saturday.

Police were called in to restore order when angry residents put a huge rock in the grave into which Hlongwane's coffin was to be lowered.

Several youths were beaten up by the police for allegedly inciting the mass to prevent the funeral from taking place.

After the funeral, those opposing the burial gathered at an open ground and took a decision to dismiss pastor Tiyane Khanyane Dlomo from the village for having buried the man and for calling the police .

"We don't want her here anymore," community leader Daniel Mukhansi said. "She must just leave the village in peace before she leaves in pieces. We have just given her until Wednesday, or else all hell will break loose."

A group of angry youth went to Dlomo's house to try to kick her out, but the group was not so lucky because the pastor's house was being patrolled by police.

According to Richard Rabohale the community and local chief had decided that all foreigners who die while living on the land must not be allowed to be buried in the village.

Joshua Matlou, ANC's regional chairman and executive mayor for the Mopani district municipality, said Hlongwane's family could not be traced, which is why his funeral was delayed.

"After several failed attempts to locate his family the Modjadji royal family and the Mopani district municipality took a decision that Hlongwane be buried in the village he was living in before he died," he said.

"Such acts of barbarism and xenophobia cannot not be tolerated in a democratic state such as South Africa," Matlou said.