Burial society refuses to pay for dad’s funeral

Nolusindiso Tasana has been left depressed and in debt after losing her father.

A Khayelitsha resident is taking legal action against her burial society after it “unfairly, illegally and unsympathetically” refused to make the pay-out for her father’s funeral.

Nolusindiso Tasana from Khayelitsha said the refusal by Sinethemba Burial Society to pay her the R25 000 has caused her more stress and pain and that she had been left depressed and deep in debt after losing her father. Her legal representative, LegalWise, have confirmed that they are taking up the matter further on her behalf.

Ms Tasana, a healthcare worker, said her father passed away on December 11, in her home town of Tsolo in the Eastern Cape. She informed the leadership of Sinethemba a day after and was asked to submit her father’s particulars (death certificate) at 4.30pm on December 17 as the society’s committee only met on Thursdays to attend to such matters.

“The problem was that we were required to have the funeral in 10 days according to the new regulations as the country was in the height of the second wave of the coronavirus.

“There were funerals planned already in the village on the weekend of 19 and 20 December, and the only available date was Friday, 18 December. So if I had to meet the committee in the afternoon a day before I would have missed the funeral, especially if I’m using public transport,” she said.

Ms Tasana said she had to make credit arrangements to contribute towards the burial of her father in the hope that she would repay it when the burial society made their pay-out. To her shock the society refused to pay her on her return, arguing that she had breached the constitution of the society as their pay-outs were made strictly towards funeral costs.

“One committee member even rubbed salt into my wound when she said I would not have resuscitated my dad and it would not have mattered even if I had arrived home when the funeral was over. That was so insensitive and very hurtful. I cry every time I think about their comments. I mean I’m talking about people who know our culture and the importance of being there when your parent is buried.”

Ms Tasana has been a member of the burial society since 2013.

Jozaandré Booysen, manager for legal services and support at LegalWise, confirmed that his organisation was attending to Ms Tasana’s case but said he could not divulge details regarding the status of the case.

Vukani tried to contact Sinethemba Burial Society a number of times, but was unable to reach them on any of the numbers we had available, by the time this story was published.