City can help with burials

 Funeral Service provider Luvuyo Mamba says his stuck with a body of a woman who passed away three months ago.  PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe
Funeral Service provider Luvuyo Mamba says his stuck with a body of a woman who passed away three months ago. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Katrina Van Wyk was a destitute woman who lived in the Vlei area of Samora Machel.

When she passed away in March, a small funeral services provider from the area took her body to the morgue whilst preparations for her funeral were being organised.

However, almost three months later, her body is still in the mortuary, for nobody seems to know who’s responsibility it is to bury an indigent person.

No means for funeralFuneral director Luvuyo Mamba claims that Ward 33 Councillor Nico Mzalisi had called in to ask Mamba to to prepare to bury Katrina.

The costs have escalated and Mamba says he does not have the means to bury the woman, blaming Mzalisi for reneging on his word to help or contribute towards the burial costs.

Katrina Van Wyk,52, died of natural causes at a shack she was occupying at the beginning of March 2016.

Mamba says: “The woman lived in a shack and lived with people who seemingly drank a lot of alcohol. The people she stayed with didn’t know her family.”

The councillor asked me to take the body into the morgue whilst he was raising funds for her burial,”.

Mamba said he had kept in contact with Mzalisi who appeared to be coming up with solution.

“After two months I approached him and asked what the latest was as I was also getting pressured by the morgue to collect the body.

“He told me that he had forwarded the matter to the City of Cape Town and that he had given my contact details to them,” Mamba told City Vision.

Mamba said he had been waiting in vain since then.

“I now owe the morgue around R6000 in storage costs. I run a small business and I can’t afford to have such disruptions,” said Mamba.

He supported a family four from his takings and all he needed was the means to bury the woman.

City policy in placeCouncillor Mzalisi admitted asking Mamba to take care of the body but was unable to assist in the burial. However, he had forwarded the matter to the City of Cape Town for consideration, he said.

A statement has revealed that the City of Cape Town approved a policy regarding the burial and cremation of destitute persons, where councillors are expected to apply for assistance.

The policy advises that applicants can contact the local ward councillor or the sub council manager to apply for a destitute person to be buried of cremated.

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