Durban — Zululand District Municipality mayor Thulasizwe Buthelezi says a funeral service provider has been paid to bring Snegugu Myeni’s body home.
Snegugu, who was a final-year medical student in the Philippines, died at the airport on July 10 as she was about to board a plane back to South Africa.
Snegugu was studying to become a neurosurgeon and it was her lifelong dream to help and serve the people of South Africa.
Buthelezi stepped in to ensure that Snegugu’s body is brought back home.
“I was touched when I heard the tragic story of the Myeni family whose daughter died in the Philippines. With the assistance of business people from Zululand, Icebolethu (Funerals) was paid to bring the body back home, so the family can give their daughter a dignified funeral,” Buthelezi said.
“We have met with the family this morning to offer our condolences and support as they prepare to bring their daughter back home.”
Buthelezi emphasised that his intervention will not interfere with the government processes.
Snegugu’s mother, Lindiwe Myeni, made a plea in a video recording, asking for help.
Myeni said this year was Snegugu’s final year and she died on Monday, July 10, at the airport heading home.
“I am in trouble, I want her body to come home so I can bury her with dignity, but at this point, it seems that this can’t happen. The South African embassy in the Philippines was unable to help me. It can only help me with information. It has told me that if I want to bring her home, it costs more than 2 million (rand or pesos not specified). If I want to cremate her, how much it would be 70K (it is also more than 2m). It said that if I want to bury her overseas, I can go bury her,” Myeni said.
“In the end, since overseas it is so expensive, I went to Icebolethu Funerals because it has been said that they have an aircraft. I got there and indeed I saw the aircraft. They said fetching a body costs R216 000, to fetch her and return,” Myeni continued.
“I thought their pricing was better than the millions mentioned by the Philippines to bring her.
“Please help me. If you can, please help me put together that R216 000, so they can fetch her. They said they cannot fetch her without the full amount being paid.”
Myeni said that while her daughter is in the Philippines, it costs R1 695 daily.
This money accumulates the longer she stays there while she works on means to obtain the R216 000 for Icebolethu Funerals to fetch the body.
“This child (Snegugu) told me that she is finishing her studies and she will be coming home to help the people of Mzansi medically as a neurosurgeon. My child failed because she died unexpectedly. She left saying she is graduating in August and she is returning to work,” Myeni said.
“It hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts. As a family, we don’t know how to get this money, but we have faith in Mzansi, we’ve seen what you can do, thank you.”
Earlier, the Office of the Premier said it is working with the Department of International Relations and Co-Operation to consolidate efforts towards the repatriation of Myeni’s mortal remains back to South Africa.
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