The passing away of a Tonota father, Samuel Kapondorah has brought out the worst as his family is now pitted against his biological children.
Instead of supporting each other, his funeral last Tuesday brought nothing but headache on top of the sorrow that go with bidding a loved one farewell.
Relatives who used to be besties sharing good moments together, have suddenly become worst enemies and fighting for almost everything.
The Kapondorah family is grieving Samuel’s death but at the same time it also appears that they are losing their family members as their fight intensifies with a contempt of court application looming.
As relatives allegedly planned to bury their father in their absence, his children, Thato Lorato Kapondorah and Goitse Tumelo Kapondorah through their attorney, Morupi Mbeha, stopped the burial with a court order, demanding that the body should be laid to rest in Gaborone, and not Tonota village as it was previously arranged.
Then, the police stormed the Kapondorah’s yard and served them with an urgent court application prohibiting them from burying the late Samuel. This forced the family to adjourn the burial preparations and return the body to the mortuary.
Last Friday, the family appeared before Gaborone High Court where the deceased’s children, his elder brother and wife signed a settlement agreement before Justice Michael Mothobi permitting them to meaningfully participate in the preparatory activities and proceedings of Samuel’s burial.
Then court ordered the respondents in the matter being David (the deceased’s elder brother) and Lydia Kapondorah (the deceased’s wife) to have given the deceased’s children a certified copy of their father’s original death certificate. However it is alleged that they failed to do so as what the children have in their possession currently is only a copy of the death certificate.
The Monitor is reliably informed this resulted in one of the deceased’s children, Thato Lorato Kapondorah failing to claim for his father’s burial benefits from Botswana Life Insurance.
The court further stated that for avoidance of the doubt, the parties should mutually agree on the procedure to be adopted at the funeral, but it is alleged that the two parties failed to cooperate, leaving mourners to witness a hostile burial.
The court had ordered that the burial take place in Tonota village on June 12, 2018 and indeed the burial was conducted. But The Monitor is reliably informed that despite the order the family continued to sideline
It is alleged that the conflict over the deceased’ material things has intensified as the family allegedly distributed some of Samuel’s belongings after his burial in the absence of his children.
That Tuesday, the family and mourners allegedly met at Kagiso mortuary in the morning where the body was taken straight to the cemetery for burial. Whilst at the cemetery, it is alleged that the mourners were told that there was no food to eat after the burial, as it is the norm amongst Batswana.
It is alleged that the family also instructed mourners to disperse to their respective homes from the cemetery because there were no any scheduled proceedings to be conducted at the yard as it is commonly done after the burial.
Reached for a comment, attorney Mbeha confirmed the children’s intentions to file a contempt of court application if the family fails to respond to their letter within seven days.
“The seven days of their response will elapse this week and if by then they would have not responded, we intend to file a contempt of court because they failed to follow the court order.
“The two parties did not hold meetings preparing for the burial as they had promised and the respondents also failed to give my clients certified copy of the original of their father’s death certificate,” said Mbeha.
Mbeha alleged that his clients learnt that after their father’s burial later that day, some of their father’s property was shared amongst family members without their consent.
“We want them to reverse that decision and take back all of the belongings that were shared amongst family members in order for that arrangement to be conducted in the presence of my clients as it was agreed before court,” Mbeha explained.
Reached for a comment, the respondents’ attorney Busang Manewe said he did not know if indeed his clients failed to obey the court. He however confirmed to have received a letter of demand from the deceased’s children’s lawyer.
“I have already sent the letter to my client and this is as far as I can comment on this matter. I am sorry I cannot disclose any further information on matters between me and my clients concerning this case,” Manewe said.