KTC pensioner Virginia Mafu wants to know why Makhuzeni Burial Society refused to pay for the funeral of her sister, Evelyn Nkephu.
The burial society says Ms Nkephu had simply stopped her payments without informing them when she became a pensioner.
Ms Nkephu, a long serving member of the society, died in December last year. She was 96 years old, and according to her family, was covered as a pensioner, meaning she was no longer required to pay monthly contributions after many years of contributing to the society.
A livid Ms Mafu said, in line with the society’s policy, she reported Ms Nkephu’s death immediately and handed over the required documents. But instead of getting the required assistance from the society, she was humiliated and belittled by some of its members. “I am yet to get the money,” she said.
In an interview with Vukani, Ms Mafu said she had had to borrow money for the funeral after she got no joy from Makhuzeni. To date, she said, the society had refused to engage the family.
“All I need is answers. What happened to my sister’s money?” she asked. “Burial expenses are not a joke, but I paid. The least they can do is explain to me what happened,” she said, accusing the society of unprofessional behaviour. “This whole situation is upsetting and I do not want to talk about it. It makes me sick and angry.”
Ms Mafu said most people trusted such burial societies for funeral expenses, however corrupt people and organisations put a dent on the good work of burial societies.
“I am very upset about the whole situation,” she said.
But chairperson of the society, Bafana Mafanga, said the organisation had done everything possible to assist the family. He said according to their constitution, pensioners were required to formally inform the society when they stopped contributing. “We have a pension roll and we have no record of her as a pensioner. Our records show that the woman concerned never registered as a pensioner. She just decided to stop paying without informing the organisation,” he said.
Mr Mafanga said that information was communicated to her family, but they were not willing to listen.