'Shocked' KZN MEC slams Old Mutual following body bag incident
JOHANNESBURG - KwaZulu-Natal's social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza has expressed "disgust" after an insurance company allegedly refused to pay for the burial of the loved one of a grieving family.
Khoza's comments follow a video that went viral on social media showing two women carrying a corpse in a body-bag to the Old Mutual offices in KwaDukuza, placing the body-bag in the offices, and demanding their claim be paid out.
Old Mutual allegedly refused to pay out the claim, leaving the Mtshali family unable to make funeral arrangements.
The family has stated publicly that they felt taking the corpse to the office was their last hope. They also said they would be cancelling other policies they held with the insurance giant.
"We are really taken aback by this incident. The action of the insurance company is sickening. Clearly, there are a number of other families who go through this trauma when they are supposed to be given money to bury their loved ones," said the MEC.
"Our attention has been captured by this horrific video. It shocked many of us as we have never seen such before in our communities.
"The circulation of this video on social media shows the plight that our communities have to go through. Old Mutual inflicted much pain on this family after losing their loved one."
Khoza added that government would not sit idle while the "vulnerable" were being "abused".
"Over the years this family took a burial policy with the insurance company in order to be able to lay to rest their loved ones with dignity, only to be sent from pillar to post when they were supposed to receive payment for the funeral."
The department of social development had traced the family and would be offering assistance, Khoza said.
"A team of social workers has been dispatched to provide psychological support to the family."
African News Agency (ANA)