Nafupa must desist
Funeral union ordered not to antagonise Doves or Avbob in its quest for transformation
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.