Na­fupa must de­sist

Funeral union or­dered not to an­tag­o­nise Doves or Avbob in its quest for trans­for­ma­tion

The New Age (Western Cape) - - News - CANNY MAPHANGA prov­inces@the­newage.co.za

FOL­LOW­ING Mon­day’s in­ter­dict by Avbob, an­other funeral gi­ant, Doves has ob­tained an ur­gent or­der from the Durban High Court yes­ter­day pre­vent­ing mem­bers of the Na­tional Funeral Prac­ti­tion­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Of South Africa (Na­fupa) from in­tim­i­dat­ing or threat­en­ing its un­der­tak­ers.

This fol­lows Na­fupa’s call to ban white and In­dian funeral par­lours from do­ing busi­ness in black com­mu­ni­ties from Fe­bru­ary.

Na­fupa said it made the call due to the lack of trans­for­ma­tion in the in­dus­try.

The as­so­ci­a­tion also claims that In­dian- and white-owned funeral un­der­tak­ers only do busi­ness with one an­other and thus the in­dus­try is not in­clu­sive of the very same black com­mu­ni­ties that en­rich the ma­jor com­pa­nies.

Na­fupa sec­re­tary-gen­eral Nkosentsha Shezi said: “We want trans­for­ma­tion. This in­dus­try is worth bil­lions of rands an­nu­ally but the ma­jor­ity goes to white-owned com­pa­nies and as the ma­jor­ity in the in­dus­try, we take home very lit­tle in terms of per­cent­age of rev­enue gen­er­ated.”

Es­tab­lished un­der­tak­ers said this call was not only il­le­gal, but would dis­ad­van­tage black pol­icy hold­ers.

Avbob spokesper­son Mar­ius du Plessis re­leased a state­ment say­ing that “if Shezi gets his way, no white and In­dian funeral un­der­tak­ers will be able to do busi­ness in black town­ships and the very same com­mu­ni­ties will suf­fer”.

Ac­cord­ing to Doves le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive Phee­gane Rasemela, his clients had re­ceived threats and in­tim­i­da­tion from mem­bers of Na­fupa.

“There have been threats that if any of Doves’ re­sources en­ter the town­ships from Fe­bru­ary 1, they will be burned,” he said.

CEO Minky Ngcobo said it would be busi­ness as usual on Thurs­day.

“We want to as­sure pol­icy hold­ers that our busi­ness will con­tinue, we have en­gaged all stake­hold­ers and we will trade in all the cor­ners of South Africa,” she said. Re­cent court de­vel­op­ments have put a hold on Na­fupa’s ban, how­ever they re­main as it main­tains the call was peace­ful and would never amount to vi­o­lence.

“All we are say­ing is that we are in the funeral in­dus­try and we want a share, we want eq­uity and we want de­vel­op­ment for our black funeral ser­vice providers,” Shezi said.

Avbob pro­vin­cial man­ager Vusi Khathi ex­pressed con­cern about the call pos­si­bly in­cit­ing vi­o­lence, say­ing: “We are con­cerned by the in­tim­i­da­tion and vi­o­lent threats.

“We have peo­ple who work at fran­chises. Peo­ple carry our brand and our clients are our main con­cern. If some­thing like this should hap­pen their lives will be in dan­ger.”

The in­ter­dict was granted to Doves against Na­fupa with costs, forc­ing the as­so­ci­a­tion to re­frain from the fol­low­ing:

• Un­law­fully pre­vent­ing Doves from con­duct­ing its busi­ness in Durban

• Dis­rupt­ing of Doves and its fran­chises.

• Mak­ing threats against Doves, its fran­chises or em­ploy­ees.

• Con­tribut­ing to or in­cit­ing vi­o­lence to­wards Doves.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the in­ter­dict in­structed Na­fupa to:

• Re­move all so­cial me­dia posts con­tain­ing the #abaphume tag on Twit­ter and Face­book.

• Re­move all defam­a­tory al­le­ga­tions against Doves from so­cial me­dia.

• Pay Doves le­gal costs.

IN­TER­DICT: Na­fupa has called for white and In­dian funeral par­lours to be banned from ser­vic­ing black peo­ple.

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