Nobuhle Bhengu worked as a bartender aboard an MSC cruise liner. Bhengu fell ill and died while the ship was docked in the Bahamas. Twitter
DURBAN - The body of a Durban woman, who died while working in the Bahamas, will not be repatriated to South Africa. Instead, she will be cremated and her ashes brought back to her family.

Umlazi resident, Nobuhle Bhengu, 29, who worked on a MSC cruise liner, died in February, in a hospital in the Bahamas.

Since her death, her family has been locked in a battle with the Bahamian government to have her remains brought back to South Africa.

The matter was escalated to South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco), which was negotiating with officials in the Bahamas.

In a statement released late Tuesday afternoon, Dirco Minister Lindiwe Sisulu thanked the Bahamian government for their co-operation.

“I also want to express gratitude to the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government for all their efforts, working with the family of the deceased,” she said.

Dirco said Bhengu’s family would travel to the Bahamas to view her body prior to the cremation.

Nobuhle Bhengu

“Cremation was recommended by the local authorities in the Bahamas, citing health and safety concerns.

“Minister Sisulu has expressed her gratitude to the family for their understanding that their daughter’s mortal remains could not be repatriated to South Africa, due to international health standards - to which both South Africa and the Bahamas subscribe,” said Dirco spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya.