Man 'too fat' for normal burial

2012-02-07 08:33

Johannesburg - Members of a Pretoria family have appealed to the government and public for help in burying a relative who is "too fat" for a normal burial.

Eyewitness News
reported that Chris Labuschagne died of an undisclosed illness at Kalafong Hospital. He was morbidly obese and weighed around 550kg.

The fire department was called in last week to help move him to Kalafong from his home in Pretoria West.

But now his family is struggling to bury him, saying they can't afford it.

Labuschagne's body was transferred to a cold storage room at the George Mukhari Hospital as the corpse was too large for the hospital mortuary.

The body is too large for cremation and to bury him will cost R4 000 as a double coffin is needed.

An uncle said a crane was needed to move him.

  • KayMoruane - 2012-02-07 08:45

    jees! Don't tell me the family never thought about this before? 550kg? how can they let their loved ones be so obese?

      Stan - 2012-02-07 08:49

      What do you mean "how can they let"?

      Peter - 2012-02-07 09:02

      Stan, the man weighed 550 kgs and could not possibly have moved from his bed to eat. So it took family members to feed him and therefore they let him get that obease. - 2012-02-07 09:02

      Ai Jayson... belittling others to make yourself feel better over something??? Childish, immature and plain daft...

      Kim Rutgers - 2012-02-07 09:21

      I don't think jt's fair to blame the family! A grown man should take care of himself!

      Tuskal - 2012-02-07 09:24

      I agree with you Rickey, Jayson, u r a bit out of line here boet... This is an individual, not an afrikaans community at large... and Kay, I also dont understand your point here. What do u mean how can the loved ones let him be?

      Tuskal - 2012-02-07 09:25

      so Peter, u mean if this were your brother, would you deprive him of food? Would you let him die of hunger?

      Lucia - 2012-02-07 09:46

      Jason Jason..... Are you blind??? I thought by myself to ignore this poor man and can only shake my head for this miserable person... If you cannot say something good, rather keep quiet. We do not need people like you on this forum!

      George - 2012-02-07 09:56

      Easy, feed him and hide the toilet

      KayMoruane - 2012-02-07 10:12

      @Tuskal - How can "they" i meant the family...Why do they let their Big Show be so fat

      Mouldy - 2012-02-07 13:16

      I am stunned, 550kg? That is almost two thirds the weight of the whole Springbok scrum! I have a large 1300cc touring bike, all up weight with me, my wife and kit for a week is around 450kg, still not this guy's weight. Unbelievable.

      Derik - 2012-02-07 14:47

      @Tuskal well obviously he didn't die of hunger. . .

      vsidii - 2012-02-07 17:25

      Sometimes obese ple cut ties with their families,they could be depressed etc..They do do alot of take outs and have many ways of getting food through..Its not just the famiy come we dont blame famiy for those who become anorexic?Everyone has there own will power and some dont hve this and might need medical help..we cant blame family...they dont own you or control you..He ate the food himself which lead to his condition...

      Evaline - 2012-02-07 20:20

      @Tuskal I doubt Stan was suggesting the family starve the man to death. How difficult would have been for them to encourage him to see a nutritionist, devise a healthy diet,and be more active?

  • Jomah - 2012-02-07 08:46

    How is it possible to afford to feed someone on a monthly basis who weighs over 500kg, but you cannot afford to bury the same person?

      dumisiledee - 2012-02-07 08:48

      My thoughts exactly Jomah

      Gerhard - 2012-02-07 08:53

      They can put the cost of the burial on their credit card and pay it off with the savings they will have on their grocery bill. The McDonalds down the road from them will probably have to shut down now.

      vsidii - 2012-02-07 17:38

      What if it was a disease and not the love of food? Dont know if u know the stroy of the 21yr called lizzie...She cant put on weight not matter what she eats...cud there be a reverse of her disease?Maybe he was sick...we dont know thestory yet...dont wanna judge then I have to eat my words later...

  • Stan - 2012-02-07 08:48

    550kg...? I thought I was a big man...

      Nosiphom - 2012-02-07 08:52

      Sorry mate, there's stiffer competition. Eat loads more and do very little!

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-07 09:12

      @Nosiphom, good chirp, good sense of humour lol!!

      Rudie - 2012-02-07 10:30

      Yea ask Stiffler! LOL

  • Stan - 2012-02-07 08:50

    "a double coffin is needed"

      sandimzilikazi - 2012-02-07 10:33


  • Da - 2012-02-07 08:53

    I am sorry for the family @ this trying time, i hope he will recieve a decent funeral may his soul RIP

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-02-07 09:33

      no they gonna leave him in that cooler forever...come on!

      Sunett - 2012-02-07 09:52

      @Randomhero: That's not wat Da meant, doffel. Stop trying so hard.

  • Jymiro - 2012-02-07 08:58

    I am quite surprise about this insensitivity at this desparate time by the familty

      Makhawukana - 2012-02-07 12:12

      @Jymiro people just dont sympathy hey!!!! So am not suprised.

  • nikondaniel - 2012-02-07 09:03

    Tow him ot to sea. R.I.P.

  • ferreira.charmaine - 2012-02-07 09:06

    To all of you making nasty comments, what if it was one of your loved ones? Yes he was "morbidly obese and weighed around 550kg", but some people cannot help for this. For all we know it could have been a health related problem. Secondly Jyson, you have just put your foot into your mouth with your size 10 safety boot by stating Afrikaans people are like pigs. Take a look in the mirror pal.....

      Gerhard - 2012-02-07 09:22

      It is impossible to get that size because of a medical condition. Medical conditions can make you overweight if your body manages to absorb more calories than normal. But there is only one way to sustain that weight and that is to continually feed your body way more calories than needed. And the only way to do that is to eat excessively. I am overweight because I do not eat right and drink beer. I do not have a medical condition.

      Merven - 2012-02-07 09:48

      People use medical conditions as excuses, as someone once said, if obesity was due to medical conditions, how come you never saw obese people in concentration camps?

      Marion - 2012-02-07 09:49

      @Gerhard - Actually you are wrong. There is a disease Cushing's syndrome that can cause obesity. If he had that it is possible that the available treatments were not suitable for him. Like you, I am overweight (actually obese is the right term for me) because of my mouth. But not everyone is, so be grateful that you are not one of those people.

      Lucia - 2012-02-07 09:56

      Hells Bells, I agree with you. Sometimes it is also someone who could not afford to eat more healthy food and I really feel sorry for him. But how do Jayson know that this is an Afrikaans, white guy? Did I miss something?

      mclabuschagne - 2012-02-07 10:08

      @Lucia - yes you missed that his surname is Labuschagne - dunno how many people of colour you get with that surname...

      Marion - 2012-02-07 10:30

      @mclabuschagne... I think in the coloured community there are plenty with Afrikaans names. I was born a Potgieter (many of those in the coloured community) but I am an English speaking South African irrespective of my father's origins. Stereotyping on basis of name is so passe.

      sandimzilikazi - 2012-02-07 10:41

      ohhh mclabuschagne are you related to him if yes did he have a medical condition?

      mclabuschagne - 2012-02-07 10:49

      @sandimzilikazi - no we are not related.

      mclabuschagne - 2012-02-07 11:12

      @Marion - I'm not surprised at your entire comment that is so passé. Stick to what was said - there was no referral to language or your surname - Potgieter. Neither did I dispute the fact that there are many afrikaans names/surnames in the coloured community.

      Marion - 2012-02-07 11:47

      I quote: @Lucia - yes you missed that his surname is Labuschagne - dunno how many people of colour you get with that surname... If this is not questioning how many people of colour there are with the surname Labuschagne then what is? That is what I understood by the comment. I simply used the fact that I was born a Potgieter as an example of how misleading a name can be. I did not wish to offend you with my comment about 'passe', it was a generalised comment.

      mclabuschagne - 2012-02-07 12:38

      @Marion - Stereotyping is a deadly sin but apparently generalising is not? - 2012-02-07 12:59

      mclabuschagne:- Marion did say she did not mean to offend you.. is it necessary to carry on???

      mclabuschagne - 2012-02-07 13:19 - I guess she didn't mean to offend Jason by calling him a racist either? So my question to you (whom is didn't reply to in the first place) is: is stereotyping a deadly sin but namecalling and generalising is not? Even though I do not support Jason's opinions he still has the right to them without being called names.

      mclabuschagne - 2012-02-07 13:29

      @Perfume - Catch a wake-up. I never disputed the fact.

      Patrick - 2012-02-07 16:14

      Health related my arse! Never seen a picture of a fat person coming out of a concentration camp!

      Mandy - 2012-02-07 16:39

      I think Merven has made the most pertinent comment of all - no fat people in concentration camps (prisoners that is)!

  • Deeteem - 2012-02-07 09:07

    Will the person who forced food into this man's mouth please pay for the funeral !!

  • Seja - 2012-02-07 09:10

    The family is not exactly blameless in all this!! at 550kg it means he could not move around the house - meaning someone was bringing him food!! How did he take a crap?? How did he take a pee?? how did he wash?? what did he wear?? ... the family definitely LET this happen!! *Of course the main man's lack of self control led to his own death too*

  • Tuskal - 2012-02-07 09:15

    Masingagezelwa apha. These people cant afford to bury him coz they are poor or they cant afford coz he's obese? Why do they wanna make an expensive burial if they cant afford? Why need to buy a coffin they cant afford ( that is if that's the case ) when they can make it themselves?

      Deon - 2012-02-07 16:18

      Imagine 7 people in 1 coffin, this is how big he was at an average of 78kg. Not many coffins are big enough.

  • Ndurengo Maxzino Mncwabe - 2012-02-07 09:16

    My goodness!! I almost can't believe this story! Wow, the human body can get really big huh! I guess when a loved one's wheight is getting out of hand, one shouldn't be afraid to tell him/her! Unless it's a medical condition of some sort.

  • hannesenbrianda - 2012-02-07 09:19

    I am shocked about the insensitive comments or a family with a real pradicament. Jayson pull your head in, there is no need to attack an ethnic group for one person's sickness. Please remember that this person suffered from a very serious decease - obesity. Yes it is self inflicted but so is many other deceases. Clearly a solution must be found and it is the family's problem to a large extend but I think they have a good case to ask for donations from the people that benefited from this person's sickness. Maybe a few fast food stores or soft drink manufacturers can help out? They surely benefited from this person's sickness.

      Mildly_Amused - 2012-02-07 10:14

      I'd personally much rather donate to the living than to the dead. There are people out there who are still fighting to live. They need our kindess more than he does. You can give him the nicest coffin and the best funeral ever but the fact still remains - he's dead.

      leon.mason3 - 2012-02-09 15:50

      If I buy a car and am reckless in it, which ends in my death. Is it the vehicle manufacturers fault. I am aware off all the risks,

  • Aston - 2012-02-07 09:19

    This was a case of food addiction - not that much different to a heroin addict. Unfortunately not everybody is as strng willed as the commentators on this page. Stop judging and rathere see what you could do better to make this world a better place.

  • E=MC2 - 2012-02-07 09:19

    "died of an undisclosed illness at Kalafong Hospital. He was morbidly obese"... whats so "undisclosed" about that... HE WAS MORBIDLY OBESE I have another question tho; if they were so poor, what the heck was he eating to get to that size??

      Lucia - 2012-02-07 10:00

      Pap and bread E=MC2.

  • Hermann - 2012-02-07 09:28

    @Tuuskal ... he referred to K Zuma not J Zuma.

      Elle-Black - 2012-02-07 09:34

      And it still begs the question,what does anybody from the Zuma household have to do with this story?

  • paul.maarman - 2012-02-07 09:28

    ...and there is hunger in the world. I have no real sympathy for the large among us.It is not natural for a human body to be blown to such proportions, and I take the zero tolerance approach to this.This crap about "relationship with food" is just that crap. Nutrition is needed biological fact, food is not there to make you feel happy. Its there for your to function optimally.. If you have an issues, deal with it, no matter how deep and dark it is, deal with it, do not take the "vriet my vrek" for happiness approach.

      Marion - 2012-02-07 09:52

      It's easy to be 'holier than thou' when you haven't walked in another man's shoes. Not everyone is strong enough to 'deal with it'. - 2012-02-07 13:02

      Agree with Marion

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-02-07 16:36

      Does the surname 'Maarman' have any relevance to your comment? (Tongue in cheek...;-)

  • Colbert - 2012-02-07 09:30

    Wow not only did his weight probably caused problems for himself wile alive now even after his death its causes problems for those he left behind. Rather a sad story this is.

  • christina.marais - 2012-02-07 09:31

    May he rest in peace!

  • derrick.dawson - 2012-02-07 09:33

    If they had the money to feed him, they must have the money to bury him. He must have eaten more the R4000 worth of food in a month?

  • Nthabiseng - 2012-02-07 09:38

    this is sad knowing that some ppl find the whole situation funny mean while the family of the poor man is in crises, where is the sense of *UBUNTU* in all that. - 2012-02-07 13:02

      Hear hear Nthabiseng!!!!!!

  • lakesidemaynes - 2012-02-07 09:39

    They should look at chopping him up and burying him in bits. May he rest in pieces!

  • Tammy - 2012-02-07 09:44

    Jayson you obviuously have a complex about your very, very tiny ....

      mclabuschagne - 2012-02-07 12:49

      @Tammy -...brain...

  • miyo27 - 2012-02-07 09:44

    the answer will be found at -

  • jacques.buckle - 2012-02-07 09:53

    saw him into smaller chunks

      Heiku - 2012-02-07 14:05

      That's what I was thinking.

  • Kogie - 2012-02-07 10:00


      Tammy - 2012-02-07 10:19

      You have a very kind heart, Kogie.

  • Caroline - 2012-02-07 10:00

    If a double coffin is needed why not double the cramation facilities too?

      Irene - 2012-02-07 10:10

      You've obviously never been to a crematorium! Educate yourself.

  • Kogie - 2012-02-07 10:07


  • Kogie - 2012-02-07 10:09


      Kogie - 2012-02-07 10:17


      E=MC2 - 2012-02-07 10:20

      why are you talking to yourself? AND WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING? - 2012-02-07 13:04

      And as usual people attack others.. probably to make them feel better over some or other nonsense... Kogie - Bless your soul!!!

  • Marion - 2012-02-07 10:16

    @Jayson... you are a racist. And an ignorant one at that.

  • Heather - 2012-02-07 10:31

    working the funeral business, it is sad when something like this occurs. We can sit and what if...but it won't change anything. We all wish to treated with respect and dignity in life as well as death. Surely the funeral director, government dept, and relatives can assist this family?

  • i.R.womble - 2012-02-07 10:35

    There must be a way to cremate him

  • Caroline - 2012-02-07 10:41

    Irene obviously your hair must be white, in which event your remark is understandable.

  • lazarus.seema - 2012-02-07 10:43

    I am appealing to the Local Authorities in Pretoria to do something about this. We are talking of a person who has passed away here, Municipalities have Burial societies that they are using for emergencies, why cant they use them to give this person a decent funeral. The family can not afford, do they want them to go public and then they will do something. Please Comrades, Let us do something there in Pretoria. We can't expect people from far away to assist this family as we have read they cant afford.

      mclabuschagne - 2012-02-07 12:53

      @lazarus.seema - you might be the only person here talking sense today

      Tammy - 2012-02-07 13:27

      bless you Lazarus.

  • The-third - 2012-02-07 10:56

    550kg. HALF A TON. No bloody hell man, people need to take care of themselves a bit better (as insensitive as that sounds).

  • reinhard.pettenburger - 2012-02-07 11:14

    The man is/was morbidly obese (as a result of eating too much) so with the money they save on feeding him should cover the funeral costs. You can expect the state to pay for your funeral when you clearly have enough money to get yourself to 550kg

  • Wt - 2012-02-07 11:19

    an apple a day keeps the crane away?

  • Eric - 2012-02-07 11:33

    Part of this serious news is funny. A crane needed? He is dead so cannot feel anything. Now the easy way is A SEA BURIAL.

      Linda - 2012-02-10 14:19

      But then who's going to pay to get him from Pretoria to the nearest sea port?

  • Olivia - 2012-02-07 11:36

    Only R4000?? and they cannot afford that?? Didn't he have a funeral policy?? clearly not.

      Marion - 2012-02-07 11:50

      Pretoria West is a poor area of Pretoria.

      The-third - 2012-02-07 12:49

      It may be poor.. but you don't get to 550kg without spending thousands on food, per month, for one guy.

  • bmaestro - 2012-02-07 11:51

    scary staff,morbidly obese and weighed 550kg...come on guyz yoooooh unbilievable

  • Liz - 2012-02-07 12:21

    If Government can provide free RDP houses to an unemployed woman who has had 17 children, some of whom also received free RDP houses, then I see no reason why they cannot assist this family in burying their relative. Just like he could have said no to eating more, this woman could have said no to having more children. If you are going to "reward" irresponsible behaviour, it should be applied equally. The guy clearly had very little dignity in life, at least give him dignity in death.

      Heiku - 2012-02-07 14:18

      He is white. Not sure if you missed that or the last 20 years of history?

  • nadine.hayward13 - 2012-02-07 12:24

    Seriously 550kg Where the hell was the biggest loser??? I’m sorry but no pity from me that is your own fault and friends and families for not opening there mouths. Now they want to open there mouths cause they need money to bury him...

  • wan.liew - 2012-02-07 13:02

    Hey, Jamie Oliver did a documentary once..He went to this city in US, known as the 'fattest' city (cant remember which city) and decided to teach and show people what to eat and how to eat correctly to stay healthy. No one bothered to listen. Americans hated him and wanted this Brit to leave! Then, he eventually went to this funeral place, brought this DJ along (using media to reach out to the mass public) ...the place was stocking up double size coffins because so many young obese people were dying in that city and they had to cater to the people's demands. So, finally, the DJ was convinced and he helped Jamie to educate the public...Anyhoo, bottom line, we should look at this as an opportunity to educate S, go quickly call Carte Blance or 3rd Degree, go do a show on how this 550 kg body got buried/cremated...!And get the right message across!!

      Juann Strauss - 2012-02-07 14:37

      Remember the study into how much it cost to prepare on of mister Oliver's meals? People were complaining that it would cost them almost R5k to feed a family of four for a month based on his recipes.

  • Victor - 2012-02-07 13:11

    Funny that they had the money to keep feeding him !!!

  • Emmanuel - 2012-02-07 13:45

    my number is 0827751172 i am manufacturing coffins i can built him a coffin in the next 2hours. i got the news about his death from a friend who helped to move him from hospital

      Linda - 2012-02-07 14:55

      Is this a generous offer I see? Maybe you could find out how to contact the family through the hospital.

  • Christopher - 2012-02-07 14:28

    Cremate him!

      Deon - 2012-02-07 16:22

      Too large to fit.

  • Lumko Ntshinka - 2012-02-07 14:38

    I think its time gov subsidies gastric bypass surgery 4 adults n be made available @ ol gov hospital and aggressively promote healthy living, its always better to act before a pandemic breaks out, its clear we are struggling with our weight, i mean look @ the young youth leaders who frequently appear on t.v or any young succesfull african 4 that matter(picture zumas nephew 4 example), all of them have double chins and beer belly.

      alaina.erasmus - 2013-02-01 12:52

      I really don't think our tax should have to pay for people's lack of self control, unless it can be proven by a medical professional that it trully is a medical problem. If I am going to go out and eat half a McDonalds sharebox (which I do from time to time) then I am going to make sure I exercise after. I am not going to eat the whole thing and expect nothing to happen. These people are old enough to know how to look after themselves and if they see the amount of obese people walking around, that itself should be motivation to better themselves.

  • Lumko Ntshinka - 2012-02-07 14:38

    I think its time gov subsidies gastric bypass surgery 4 adults n be made available @ ol gov hospital and aggressively promote healthy living, its always better to act before a pandemic breaks out, its clear we are struggling with our weight, i mean look @ the young youth leaders who frequently appear on t.v or any young succesfull african 4 that matter(picture zumas nephew 4 example), all of them have double chins and beer belly.

  • Derik - 2012-02-07 14:51

    I think the best solution for this problem is to cut his bodyparts up and to cremation him. . .

  • Linda - 2012-02-07 14:58

    Bit late now I guess but he could have donated his body to medical science.