Donkeys get coffin to grave

Date: Feb 10, 2021

Only a donkey cart can get coffin to grave

Roads in one Eastern Cape village are so bad that a funeral parlour has  to hire a donkey cart to take a coffin to the graveyard.

In some instances,  locals  even use ladders as stretchers to carry departed relatives to their graves. The coffins are simply too heavy to do otherwise.

The Covid-19 pandemic and its strict protocols mean burials have to take place quickly, but for years residents of Nyumaga village in Centane have been complaining  about the state of their roads.

That they have to use such drastic measures to lay their loved ones to rest is a disgrace, they told source on Tuesday.  

Funerals had become an “embarrassment”, Pikisa said.

On Saturday, the hearse and mourners again could not drive to the graveyard.  

“When it rains people have to organise donkeys.

"No car can drive here. The roads have never been done. No contractor has ever been here. We really don't want people to protest because we don't encourage that, but we need the government to come and see this because they've never been here,” he said.

Makinana funeral parlour administrator Mvuseleli Tonisi confirmed the parlour hired a local man’s donkey cart on Saturday.

“This was the third time since late last year. We cannot drive the hearse through when it rains. People have to use planks and homemade carriers, and that is not  good for funeral parlours. It is much worse when it rains,” Tonisi said.

“Sometimes we arrive late for funerals. It’s a slow drive on those roads. A huge problem is faced by funeral parlours in the area.”

Tonisi said it took an hour for the donkey cart to carry the coffin to the gravesite.

“We have raised this issue. There has  never been anything done. Our agreement with clients is to take the body straight to the graveside but now we find ourselves having to hire donkeys. It’s really embarrassing to the families.”

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