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‘Mbongeni Ngema’s family’ want to exhume his remains.

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‘Mbongeni Ngema’s family’ want to exhume his remains.

The family of renowned producer Mbongeni Ngema, claim that according to the Home Affairs department, he died single.

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Mbongeni Ngema’s family does not believe he is not resting in peace at the Chesterville Heroes’ Acre in Red Hill Cemetery, Durban, where he was buried on 5 January. This is according to Sunday World, who report that the family of the late playwright want to exhume his body.

MBONGENI NGEMA’S FAMILY WANTS TO EXHUME HIS BODY, CLAIM HE WAS NOT LEGALLY MARRIED’

The Stimela Sase Zola hitmaker was involved in a crash involving a truck on the R61 in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape on 27 December. He died shortly after being attended by doctors at Adelaide and OR Tambo Memorial Hospital.

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According to a source who spoke to the publication, the family of the Sarafina! film producer have started the legal process to exhume his remains and bury him among his ancestors.

The source revealed that this came after the family received Ngema’s marriage certificate from the Department of Home Affairs, which states that he died single. This is in contrast to public information about Ngema having legally married Mpumelelo Gumede.

Mbongeni Ngema Sarafina inspiration

FAMILY STATEMENT

Barely a day before Ngema’s funeral, his family in eMfana, eNhlwathi in Hlabisa, expressed displeasure with the handling of his passing.

In a letter addressed to KwaZulu-Natal premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, dated 4 January 2024, the family claimed to have been kept in the dark regarding the memorial and funeral arrangements.

“To this date, the family knows nothing formally about the memorial service which was supposed to be held at KwaNgema eMfana Homestead (04/01/2024) as discussed in a brief meeting that was held on Sunday (31/12/2023),” read the letter.

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The family claimed that it had been agreed during the funeral arrangements that there would be a memorial service at eMfana. They claimed that promises were made that the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government would provide necessary supplies, including a marquee and catering, but none of these had been delivered.

The family also lamented that cultural practice where family elders should do “Ukumlanda ngehlahla [collect his spirit]” from where Ngema passed away and the rituals of “Ukugezwa” and “ukugezwa inxeba, nokuvalwa kwengozi [cleansing]” had not been followed.

In addition, the letter disputed the public statement by Ngema’s brother, Nhlanhla, that the family had agreed that he would be buried at the Heroes Acres.

They argued that Ngema had expressed his wishes to be buried in eMfana with his ancestors in a song he recorded with the Boabab Sisters titled Mhla Ngifayo [when I die].

In the song Ngema sings: “Ngosuku engofa [when I die] ngalo/ningisize nibongigcwaba [please bury me] eMfana kwaNgema eNhlwathi/ningisize ningakushintsi lokho noma ngabe ngingasekho kodwa ningakushintshi lokho [do not ever deviate from this]”.

 

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