Faizel Patel – 14/09/2020
The vice-chairman of the Undertakers Forum says the National Funeral Practitioners of South Africa (Nafupa) wants Muslim burial committees to stand in solidarity with them in their strike action against government, which is expected to have an impact on Muslim burials.
Over 3 000 funeral practitioners have embarked on a three-day shutdown of all their services after calls from the industry for outsourcing of mortuary facilities to be recognized as legal, have been ignored by government.
Nafupa has warned that no bodies will be picked up from private and government mortuaries and homes.
It says that no funerals would be conducted due to the strike action by affiliated members.
The Undertakers Forum’s Ahmad Paruk says irrespective if a Muslim passes away at home and all burial rights performed by the Muslim burial organization which does not technically overlap Nafupa and their responsibilities, Nafupa are expecting Muslims not to perform any burials and stand in solidarity with them
“They have engaged with all the other groupings including the Hindu Maha Saba, Islamic Burials, the other grouping all over the country and every Muslim organization has stood with them in their plight. Their plight is that we are poor, but we have the numbers.”
Paruk says besides the strike issue by Nafupa, there are other challenges Muslim communities are facing.
“In one province, they have now encroached on the Muslim section of our cemetery. They have now buried non-Muslim into our section. Now that is not acceptable.”
In an update, protest leader and President of Nafupa Muzi Hlengwa says, they plan to intensify their protest, starting Tuesday.
Listen to the interview with Ahmad Paruk