FRANCISTOWN: The High Court here has ruled in favour of three siblings against their brother in a case in which they were fighting over their mother’s corpse.
The brother had sneaked away with the corpse from the morgue with the intention to bury it in Senyawe, but the other siblings brought it back to be sent to Serowe, after an urgent court matter. The applicants, Malaki Bowane, Sibusiso Bowane and Priscilla Bowane wanted the court to rule that their mother, Ulliya Bowane, be buried in Serowe where she has a home and was staying for the past 19 years while their brother, Freedom Bowane, wanted her to be buried in Senyawe where she originally comes from.
In their founding affidavit, the applicants said that since 1996 the deceased had resided at her homestead at Bokhurutshe ward in Serowe, which they consider their permanent home. “For the past 19 years, the deceased has resided in Serowe with us and has never visited Senyawe and has no ties with Senyawe whatsoever,” said the applicants. “On March 17, my elder sister Sibusiso and my younger sister Priscilla who resides with the deceased in Serowe, brought her to Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital where she was referred to by doctors from Sekgoma Memorial Hospital in Serowe. Upon arrival at Nyangabgwe at around 7 am, she developed some complications and passed on,” revealed Malaki Bowane.
The applicants further stated that on March 19, they went to Lyns Funeral Parlour to make all necessary arrangements to procure a coffin and pay for the removal of the deceased’s body from Nyangabwe hospital and have her transported to Serowe where the family intended to bury her. “We were issued with a funeral voucher to transport the deceased to Serowe. After being issued with the voucher, we called Nyangabgwe to try and arrange to move the body of the deceased to Lyns Funeral Parlour, only to learn that the body had been moved from Nyangabwe... and later learnt that the respondent had transferred it to Thusano Funeral Services,” said the applicants. Furthermore, the respondent refused to give us the deceased’s death registration form, stated the applicants.In addition, Thusano also refused to release the body of the deceased to us without the deceased’s death registration form. We were also forced to purchase a P9500 coffin at Thusano whereas we have funeral policy with Lyns and we also paid for the transportation of the deceased to Palapye for P500, added the applicants.Justice Barnabas Nyamadzabo ruled in favour of the applicants. “As regards the issue of costs the respondent is to pay 50 % of such costs to be agreed and taxed,” said Nyamadzabo.