A legal tussle between three customary wives over the body and burial of their dead husband was the subject of a Pretoria High Court application.
Two wives asked that the third be interdicted from removing the body from the funeral parlour and proceeding with her own burial plans.
A fourth wife was also cited in the application, but she is not taking sides.
Ouma Molepo, who said she was one of Njokweni Norman Hlatshwayo’s wives in terms of customary marriage was the main applicant.
Hlatshwayo, of KwaThema, passed away on September 5 in a Benoni hospital.
Molepo stated in court papers that she was told that his body was now in a funeral parlour but in the care and control of Nobom Hlatshwayo – one of the other wives.
She said that, after her husband’s death, his family went to his home to make arrangements to transport his body to the family’s traditional home in Mpumalanga.
There they met Nobom Hlatshwayo, but they reached an agreement with her that the deceased’s body could be taken to Bushbuckridge for burial. This was according to the deceased’s wishes when he was alive.
Molepo said it had now emerged that the woman had reneged on this agreement and that she was arranging to have him buried at the Vlakfontein cemetery in Nigel.
Molepo explained that she and the deceased’s other two wives were married to him in terms of customary rights, but none of these marriages were registered.
Molepo said the family and the other wives want the deceased to be buried in accordance with the customs of the family, but Nobom will not relent.
The only option was to turn to a court to see that the deceased’s wishes were carried out, she added.
The court ordered that Nobom had to give reasons by Thursday as to why she should not be interdicted from proceeding with the funeral without first consulting the other wives.