The family of a KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) police officer who died recently of COVID-19 are furious after Warrant Officer Samukeliso Edward Ndimande’s body was erroneously buried some three days before his scheduled funeral, with the family provided the body of the man thought to have been put to rest.

The blunder was made by Somana Dignified Funerals, who Ndimande’s son have accused of suggesting that he was unable to properly identify his own father’s body when the mistake was noticed. 

Funeral parlour slammed for body mix-up

Speaking to IOL, Moagi Ndimande said that his father’s body was buried by a different family three days prior to the scheduled funeral on Tuesday 19 January, and said that he had noticed that the casket he had chosen for his father had a different name on it, so he investigated further. 

“I was angry and shocked. It was also said that maybe I’m the one who can’t see properly, who cant identify him properly,” he said. 

“So now, we are not sure because there is a possibility that they could have given the body to other people and not the family they suspect.”

Ndimande said that by burying the body in the wrong place, his father’s spirit would not be able to rest peacefully. 

“Once you bury the wrong, body you find that there is a big mess. It means the spirit is not free. It’s not where it is supposed to be,” he said. 

COVID-19 creating difficulties for mortuaries  

The owner of Somana Dignified Funeral services said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been extremely difficult for mortuaries and their staff to operate efficiently, but said that the blunder will be rectified. 

“We can’t see, and the families can’t view the bodies and the people working at the mortuary were also scared and not allowed to open the bag,” she said.

“We want to give the body to the correct family,” she said, adding that she has spoken to her lawyer about bringing an application to the High Court to have the body exhumed. 

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Presh JM Reporter

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