Buhle, who worked for the global cruise company MSC Cruises as a bartender, fell ill and died early last month while the ship was in Nassau Bahamas.
It is thought that she had tuberculosis (TB), but the family disputed this, saying they want her autopsy results. Due to the apparent disease the body could not be repatriated.
Bhengu’s sister, Mbali, who travelled with her three brothers, for the cremation in the Bahamas said: “We are devastated that we will not get the opportunity to give her a dignified funeral.
"This is the most painful thing we had to endure. I can’t stop crying. This is a journey of despair.
It is painful that my sister left home as a healthy person and now she will come back in ashes,” said a distraught Mbali.
Her mother, Nomusa, 68, was unable to contend with the fact that Buhle will be cremated in a foreign country, and was here at home, said Mbali.
Her friends and church members at the Old Apostolic Church said they were sad for not having the opportunity to bury Buhle with dignity.
A neighbour, Sibongile Ngcobo, who knew Buhle when she was a child described her as a respectful and God fearing person.
“The whole community is mourning her loss. She was the child of the community not just the Bhengu family.”