The Eastern Cape may have accounted for over half of COVID-19 deaths in the latest reporting period (6 January), but some families are unhappy with the new normal when it comes to burying their relatives.
They feel the spirits of their loved ones are unable to rest as they aren’t being buried with dignity. Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane says some families believe their loved ones are suffocating while being buried in plastic.
The Faleni family said they’re being haunted by their relative who died on 5 July and was buried on 8 July.
The family decided to break COVID-19 protocols. They dug up the grave, removed the three plastic bags wrapped around their father’s body and reburied him in on 5 August.
A traditional expert says there’s a connection between the dead and the living. When we bury someone, we do not dump the body. We lay it to rest in a respectful way,” said Loyiso Nqevu.
“The spirit does not go to the grave. Instead, it passes on to the world of the spirits. But even then, there is a connection between the grave and the spirit.”
Nqevu has joined many families in calling on government to revisit the COVID-19 burial protocols.
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