Lerato Sengadi recognised as HHP’s customary wife, interdict to stop funeral denied

Lerato Sengadi’s application to stop the funeral of the late rapper Jabulani 'HHP' Tsambo has been denied. 

In his judgment, Judge Mokgoatlheng said that HHP and Lerato Sengadi complied with all necessary requirements under the customary law and therefore Sengadi was HHP’s customary wife.

-  HHP’s father’s argument that Sengadi was not his son’s customary wife because she was not handed over is not valid as handing over is not a requirement under the customary law act.

  • - Customary law only recognises three requirements: that both must be over the age of 18; Lobola must be agreed upon and that there must be a celebration.

He said that Tsambo’s argument that because Sengadi was not handed over then she’s not the wife does not stand. 

He said that under normal circumstances, as HHP’s customary wife, Sengadi has the right to stop the funeral but based on convenience and the concept of Ubuntu, he is denying the application. 

He “implored” Sengadi to attend the funeral taking place in Mafikeng on Saturday. 

Lerato Sengadi hauled Tsambo to the South Gauteng High Court to stop him from burying his son HHP, real name Jabulani Tsambo, who was found dead at his home on Wednesday last week. 

Sengadi was arguing that she is HHP’s lawful customary wife and that she has full rights to bury her husband. 

The Tsambo family released a statement soon after HHP’s death was confirmed in which they said they did not recognise Sengadi as their son’s widow.

In his answering affidavit, Tsambo argued that Sengadi was not his son’s wife as the lobola negotiations were not concluded by the time of the rapper’s death. 

He also argued that the mere fact that Sengadi argued to be his customary wife does not automatically grant her the right to bury him. 

Tsambo also shot down Sengadi’s argument that she was not allowed at the funeral and said that she could come and attend. 

He said the funeral preparations were ready and argued the issue of convenience to the North West government who had declared a “civic funeral” for the late rapper and to those who had already make bookings to attend the funeral.

Sengadi had argued that she was HHP’s customary wife because she was congratulated by the deceased two aunts on becoming his wife. 

Tsambo said that there was no handing over ceremony of Sengadi into the Tsambo family since there was no mammal that was slaughtered and culturally this must be done. 

Judge Mokgoatlheng said that it is uncommon for the bride and groom to attend lobolo negotiations but the fact that they were there showed that culture is dynamic.

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