IT HAD been a tough ride for the cash-strapped family to get things ready.
But the food was cooked, the tent was erected, and the minister was standing by to perform the service.
THEY HAD EVERYTHING EXCEPT A BODY!
They sang hymns as they waited for it to arrive from the funeral home, but they got a frightening call from the undertakers.
They almost buried a complete stranger!
To make matters worse, arranging the funeral was a mission because they had no money.
And having to deal with the tragedy of getting the wrong body was a huge blow.
Relative Zef Nkomo (38) from Durban Deep in Roodepoort, Gauteng, told Daily Sun it’s possible their uncle was taken by another family.
“My uncle Jose Machai (55) had been sick for a while and was admitted to Helen Joseph Hospital,” said Zef.
“When we heard the news of his passing, the family and community organised for his body to be taken by an undertaker.”
He said there must have been a mix-up at the mortuary as they identified the right body at the hospital.
“I asked to go and identify the body before it was brought home. I checked the body and it was a complete stranger,” he said.
“The undertaker told me that’s what they had. I was stressed because people were about to start the service at home.”
The family said that they believe the mix up happened at the mortuary, because they identified the correct body at the hospital.
Zef said the family won’t be able to afford another funeral. Another relative, Francinah Nkomo, said her uncle suffered when he was sick – and now this…
“It’s painful to lose a family member, but there’s relief in knowing they’re finally at peace,” she said.
“This has made things worse for us. The community played an important role in making sure he gets a dignified send-off.” People left one by one because it was clear there’d be no burial.
“All this food, and the money people contributed, gone to waste. I pray his body is found, so he can rest in peace,” she said.
Daily Sun contacted the owner of the undertaker but she said the SunTeam should call the office or go to the mortuary.
A female employee who answered the call but did not identify herself said: “I know nothing. Speak to the family. No comment.”