A family in Kimberley took their deceased brother’s coffin to a local bank after the bank allegedly failed to carry out the payment of his funeral policy.
The man had died in a fire in Galeshewe, Kimberley on September 29 and the bereaved family were promised his policy would be paid out within 48 hours. With the nature of his death, the family had quickly made arrangements to have him buried. On Friday, October 2 the family had still not received the payment and in protest, took his coffin with the body into the bank.
Thabo Tshite, a brother of the deceased spoke to IOL and explained that plans had been made to bury their brother. He said that all procedures and necessary paperwork had been completed in order for the claim to be processed.
“Our brother died in the fire at about 2am on Tuesday. We immediately reported his death and also informed the bank. Our 70-year-old father is the policy holder and he was told what documents were required for the claim,” said Tshite.
“The bank told us they wanted police clearance and all other necessary documentation. We submitted all the necessary documents on the same day. The bank said the payout would be made between 24 and 48 hours. We were relieved as we made it clear to them that my brother died in a horrific manner and we wished to bury him as soon as possible,” he continued.
“We were thinking about the state of the body because he had burned beyond recognition. The bank seemed to understand our wish and said we would receive the payout. However, it is now more than 48 hours and the money still does not reflect in the bank account of our father.”
Tshite and his father had gone back to the bank on Friday, October 2 and had been assured that the claim was successful. The family had arrangements to bury the body the next day, October 3.
Tshite said: “As the day progressed, my father informed me that the money still did not reflect in his account. I then called the branch and told them that we would come and leave the corpse in the bank should they fail to pay. We waited for several hours and I again called the bank just before 3pm. We were then told that the matter is being escalated to head office.
“I told the person on the other side of the line that we would bring my brother’s body to the bank and that they can bury him. We are ready to bury my brother and the bank wants to inform us a few hours before the funeral that we are not able to do so.”
The family took the coffin to the bank and security tried to remove them but were not successful. Staff then informed the family that the regional manager had been called to resolve the situation. Police arrived on the scene and waited for the regional manager with the family, who had been told that the money would be deposited by 5pm. The issue was eventually resolved and the family received their money.