Mkhize said it was important for black people to follow their culture and traditions when burying people because it carried a lot of respect for the body and it also carried
respect for the spirit and through the tradition.
"If I'm saying through the tradition, I mean a body of a person normally sleeps at home a day before burial, secondly an animal must be slaughtered and those two things say a lot because you cannot come from a mortuary and go straight to the graveyard. If there is no slaughter of a cow, automatically we are bypassing the processes and we have already killed ancestral spirit. The person being buried will come back and haunt the family and the nation as a whole."
Mkhize said because many people have been buried the wrong way, the country would have to perform a cleansing ceremony after the lockdown. He said that the government would need to consult with spiritual healers on how this should be done.
Tlokwe Sehume, an indigenous musician and spiritualist, said many of the pre-colonial processes and rituals which Africans performed for funerals were being eroded by modernity and hostile environments.
Sehume said the slaughtering of a cow, for instance, has lost its meaning because people were living in townships.
"In Tswana culture the process of slaughtering for when a person is dead was huge before the invention of coffins where households were expected to have cows.
"People were buried in the hide of the cow slaughtered for their funeral as there we were using it as a coffin," Sehume said
"In modern generations, to slaughter or not it does not make much difference
because the deceased is buried in a coffin.
"Even worse, these days some people throw away the cow hide after slaughtering."
Xhosa traditional expert Zolani Mkiva said the state of disaster always existed in the past during wars and required people to be buried immediately when they die.