Wives still battling over dead cop’s body

2008-10-17 00:00

The funeral of a Pietermaritzburg policeman whose two wives are fighting over his body has been postponed for the third time and the matter is going back to the high court.

The wives have deviated from the agreement reached before Judge Piet Koen on October 10.

The decision to take the matter back to court came after family members of Rittah Matilda Ngcobo (51) and Zandile Joyce Ngcobo (52), who were both married to late police sergeant Thulani Lawrence Ngcobo, hurled insults and threatened each other at Avbob Funeral Service offices yesterday morning.

Police had to be called in as there were fears that the dispute might lead to a fight.

Avbob officials tried to control the situation, but had to call the women’s lawyers to intervene.

Later, discussions proved to be fruitless and the lawyers decided to take the matter back to court.

Ngcobo married Rittah in 1995 without the knowledge of Zandile, whom he had married in 1989. Weekend Witness learnt that both Rittah and Zandile later found out about the situation, but there were no confrontations until Ngcobo’s death on September 26.

The two women agreed before Judge Koen that Zandile would conduct the funeral in Ashdown on October 11, after the body had been in Rittah’s house in Howick West for a night vigil the previous night. However, Zandile wants the body to spend only two hours in Howick.

Both women had marriage certificates they claimed were valid.

"Ngcobo has been living with Rittah ever since they got married. It was only after his death that Zandile emerges to demand the body. Ngcobo’s funeral should be conducted where he had been living with his two children," said Rittah’s relative.

"We know that these people want to keep the body and bury it in Howick," said Zandile, who also claimed to have lived with the deceased.

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