A Mitchells Plain widow is furious after the funeral of her late husband ended up in shambles.
Tania du Plessis, 40, from Westridge says despite paying her V Plan funeral policy with SA Funeral Trust diligently for the past 19 years, her husband Granville’s burial did not go according to plan at all.
Tania says first her 57-year-old husband's coffin arrived at church wrapped in plastic as if he’d died due to Covid-19, when he died of a heart attack.
Then his coffin “fell apart” while they laid him to rest; and his name was misspelt on the nameplate.
Granville’s funeral was on 16 January at the Old Apostolic Church in Pontiac Street, Beacon Valley.
“He died of a heart attack at Groote Schuur Hospital and he was cleared of Covid-19 because he recovered from it in December already,” Tania explains.
“I was told by the driver that the coffin was wrapped and we had to return it to the parlour, causing delays to the funeral.”
She says as a result, there could be no viewing which left her, the couple’s two children and relatives and friends upset as they couldn’t say their final goodbyes.
Tania says her husband passed away on 8 January, and she went to V Plan’s office in Town Centre several times between 11 and 15 January to make sure everything was in order.
She says the company also refused to give them two family cars for the funeral, despite that being part of her funeral plan.
“I have been paying my funeral policy for 19 years with V Plan, which was R70 per month.
“They gave me one car and I had to pay R500 extra to hire another one,” says an angry Tanya.
She says she did not use the company’s hearse as she wanted to hire a special hearse for her husband.
But just when she thought the worst was over, she was in for more shocks at Klip Road Cemetery.
“There was no assistance from the V Plan undertakers, they were not even on site.
“They set up a gazebo that looked as if it was going to give in at any time.
“The ugly six chairs they put down were not even nice. We as the family had to get planks to sort out the grave site to make it safe for them to put on the coffin.
“My husband's nameplate was not right, as his full name was not on there, it said ‘Granville De Plessis’ and it should have been Granville Arnold Du Plessis.
“Nor was the date of death on there, they got the month and year, but not the day.”
But the worst was when they lowered the white marble-effect coffin into the ground and the lid broke.
“As the guys were lowering the coffin, the screws came loose. A family member had to get into the hole to close the lid.
“There was no assistance from the workers of V Plan, they just stood there.
“I refuse to do any further business with V plan. I have to start all over again paying a different funeral parlour. My 19 years of payments to V plan is down the drain.
“I want to warn other people to look out for them, but I also feel they should reimburse me.”
Responding to the allegations, Edward Meiring, the manager at SA Funeral Trust, says: “The body came from the hospital as a Covid-19 (case). We as undertakers don’t have access to the cause of death.
“People are disputing Covid-19 results and they can take it up with the hospital, not us.
“They got two family cars and wanted a limousine which I told them they will pay for at their own cost.We did what we had to do, there was no date of death when we were doing the cross.”