Undertaker nailed for stealing coffin from rival after he ran out of stock

Celani Sikhakhane

A KZN funeral parlour businessman has been arrested for thinking out of the box.

Desperate to service a bereaved family, he allegedly stole a casket from his competitor after he ran out of stock. 

On Friday, the family from the Sishwili area in Ulundi waited for hours for the accused to give them a casket paid for with their funeral policy.

But the only update they got was that the undertaker had been arrested.

A community member said the family had to go elsewhere to get a coffin.

“The family almost had to cancel the funeral after the undertaker failed to show up with the coffin,” he said.

“I really don’t know how we are going to trust him again after this.”

A source said the accused went to Celani Funeral Services to ask for a casket but they were unable to assist him.

On Thursday, still without a coffin, there was a break-in at Celani Funeral Services and a casket and other funeral equipment was also stolen – and later found at the accused’s offices.

Community member Diliza Mlambo told Scrolla.Africa he was shocked.

“We don’t understand what kind of person could steal a casket,” he said.

“It means even the deceased are not safe because their bodies can be stolen.” 

The owner of the Celani Funeral Services, Thoko Zandile Masango, could not be reached for comments as her cell phone was on voicemail.

KZN SAPS Colonel Thembeka Mbhele confirmed the incident. 

“There was an arrest of a man and he will appear before Mahlabathini Magistrate’s Court on Monday. He is facing charges of the possession of suspected stolen property,” said Colonel Mbhele.