Police had to intervene in the funeral of an 84-year-old man after his 39-year-old widow was told not to attend the funeral by her in-laws.
The incident happened at Zikhova village in Tyolomnqa on Youth Day when more than 50 villagers, armed with placards, protested against the barring of Bonisile Kondlo’s wife Nosidima, from burying her husband.
It was a sight never witnessed before in the village.
Village women boycotted the funeral by not cooking for mourners while youths did not help dig the grave.
East London police spokeswoman, Warrant Officer Hazel Mqala said: “Police were called but there was no fight, only the protest from the community and it was not violent,” said Mqala.
Community leader, Thando Wontoti said their protest was intended to embarrass the family for what they had apparently done to the widow.
“We’ve never seen before what this Kondlo family did. This woman was living with the deceased and when he was ill she took care of him and the deceased loved her, we know that as the village.
“We wanted them to be embarrassed in front of their own relatives who travelled from other areas to attend the funeral.
“What they did was wrong and we won’t forgive them. To prevent a woman from burying her husband, that is women abuse.”
Nosidima had been living with her deceased husband for a number of years, according to family members.
Speaking to the Dispatch, the distraught Nosidima said: “They told me that I would not bury my husband and I could not believe what they were saying.
“What made things worse is that they didn’t even tell me that he had passed away. I heard it from the neighbours,” she said.
Nosidima and villagers blamed Bonisile Kondlo’s younger brother, Wandile Kondlo, for not allowing her to attend the funeral.
Contacted for his comments, Wandile said he had nothing to say.
“No thank you, I don’t want to enter into that, I am not going to talk to you about my family,” he said.
Nosidima’s uncle, Mandlake Jali, said they were still shocked.
“I’ve asked Wandile what is happening and he said they won’t allow Nosidima to attend. What they did was embarrassing,” said Jali.
Two weeks ago, 84-year-old Bonisile fell sick and Nosidima had to ask her in-laws to help take him to a clinic, which is less than 400m from their home.
“But they would not help, I had to put him on my back and walk to the clinic. They wanted him to die, and when he died the following day, they didn’t bother to tell me that he had passed away,” said Nosidima.
Nosidima said the only time her in-laws had spoken to her after the death was to demand her identity document and marriage certificate to assist them in claiming for his insurance.