Body Stuck In Mortuary For 3 Months As Family Fights Over Burial Rites

The body of a Bulawayo man who died on December 31 is still stuck at Farley Funeral Services parlour in the city as family members quarrel on how to dispose of his remains.

The relatives of the late Amos Nkomo are fighting over the issue of cremation which some family members consider as alien to their culture.

The surviving spouse, Mrs Margaret Nkomo and her daughter Melisa, both of Newton West suburb, want the remains of the deceased to be cremated while other family members led by Mr Nkomo’s sister, Mrs Eva Zulu (nee Nkomo) want the body to be buried in line with their culture.

Mrs Zulu and her sisters want an order directing the respondents to release the body of the deceased within seven days.

In their founding affidavit, Mrs Zulu and her siblings through their lawyers Coghlan and Welsh Legal Practitioners argued:

This is an application for burial rights specifically for the order that the remains of the late Amos Nkomo who died on December 31, 2018, be buried according to our family traditions and customs as opposed to cremation which is sought by the respondents. The remains can be buried at any appropriate cemetery in Bulawayo.

The deceased’s remains have not been buried owing to the first respondent’s (Mrs Nkomo) refusal, claiming that it was her husband’s wish to be cremated upon his death.

The deceased whose remains are subject of this application was our blood brother. In that regard, we had a bloodline bond with him.

Over and above, we are bound by long-standing family traditions and customs on such issues as burial rights. As siblings, we have a family and cultural obligation to deal with our brother’s remains in accordance with known family burial rites.

Mrs Zulu said the broader family wants the body buried whereas Mrs Nkomo and her daughter want it cremated as per alleged verbal instructions are given by the deceased during his lifetime. The respondents are yet to respond.

More: Chronicle


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