Family upset over funeral payment

2008-04-17 00:00

The Msunduzi Municipality paid just R5 000 last year towards the funeral costs of employee Cassim Shaik Karrim, who plunged to his death from the top of an electricity pole that he was repairing.

His heartbroken family spoke out after learning on Monday about the municipality paying R20 000 towards the funeral costs of a youth manager who had been barely six months in his post. The money was for buses, T-shirts and a tent.

A relative, Yacoob Ballim, said, to add insult to injury, the family had to wage a four-month struggle for the money.

Eventually, in February this year, after sending six letters in succession, including one from the burial organisation that conducted the funeral and were awaiting outstanding payment, they received the cheque.

Karrim died on November 8, 2007 in Camphor Road, Woodlands. Residents who witnessed the incident claimed the wooden electricity pole was old, may have been rotting at the base and could not support his weight.

Karrim had worked for the municipality for more than 20 years before leaving and taking up another job. He returned at the beginning of 2007 and began work in the street lighting section.

The family were also concerned that they had not heard the outcome of the inquest nor the Labour Department inquiry into the accident.

Msunduzi municipal manager Rob Haswell was sent an e-mail. He did not comment on the funeral funding, but said the municipality submitted a report in terms of legislation to the Labour Department, which is still to conduct its own inquiry.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan said the inquest has not been finalised as police are awaiting hospital records. Upon completion of their investigation, the docket will be forwarded to the inquest court.

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