IN a drama-filled incident a man assaulted his father-in-law at a funeral wake that was punctuated by pushing, shoving and hurling of insults.
Bulawayo’s Matshobane suburb residents were treated to a three-hour “movie” on Saturday over the burial of a woman who died in the neighbouring country — South Africa.
Salia (51)’s father Hanock Nkatha said a violent Geoffrey Amidu caused chaos after he barred his in-laws from viewing his wife’s body and the in-laws abandoned the funeral wake.
He said up to today he was not sure if it was his daughter who was in the coffin and whether her body parts were intact or not, assuming she was the one. He said a seething Amidu left the funeral wake at his home in a huff and stormed his in-laws’ home in the same suburb.
He said his son-in-law hurled insults at everyone much to the shock and disappointment of mourners who had gathered to comfort them.
“We were really embarrassed as a family. I have been of poor health so I requested that my son-in-law should bring my daughter’s body to my house so that I pay my last respects. For some reason, the simple request turned things nasty.
“At an alarming speed, he skidded to a stop in his car outside the gate and barged into my bedroom. He peppered me with insults and said I was a poor and ungrateful man. He said I should remember that he took care of me when I was sick in South Africa,” said the heart-broken elderly man.
The frail-looking Nkatha said when the argument got to a head his son-in-law poked him with a finger on the head.
“He tapped me on the forehead with his forefinger and bragged that he did us (family) a favour by bringing his wife’s body to Zimbabwe for burial so that I could attend the funeral. A relative swiftly intervened and pushed him away. Even then he continued to spew unspeakable obscenities,” said the dejected Nkatha.
Nkatha said his son-in-law changed his mind and decided to bring his daughter’s coffin to his home.
“He came for the second time in a cortège but refused to open the casket. When the family members moved out of the house to receive the casket — my son-in-law appeared to have second thoughts. With a squeal of tyres, he sped off movie-style and the other cars that he came with, including the one with the coffin followed suit, leaving the mourners shell-shocked,” said Nkatha.
A relative who spoke on condition of anonymity said Nkatha’s family then rushed to Kingdom Blue Funeral Parlour to block the burial.
“Kingdom Blue manager tried to engage them but they refused declaring that they wanted to bury our daughter on the particular day. What shocked us was why they were rushing the process when the storage was for free at the parlour,” said the relative.
She added: “We are not sure whether the body that was in the coffin was of our daughter. Assuming it was the one we are not even sure whether her body parts were still intact.”
He said they then rushed to report the matter to the police.
“Police came and tried to talk to them so that we understand each other but they stood their ground insisting that they were going ahead to bury her because they wanted to return to South Africa. They left us at the parlour and went ahead and buried her,” said the relative.
B-Metro caught up with Amidu but he was reluctant to talk.
“Salia was my wife. I paid the bride price and I believe you know what that means. All being said and done I did what I wanted! I did not cause a scene but they are the ones who are a problem. Please I do not want this matter to be published in a newspaper,” he said.
Senator for Bulawayo Metropolitan province Hellen Mpofu said: “I had to call the police who stopped the pushing and shoving that was taking place. After that sanity prevailed although their son-in-law was a problem. I would like to urge residents to live in harmony,” she said.