The family of a Mowbray policeman, who was shot dead last month, say they are unhappy he is not getting an official police funeral.
Constable Khangelani Mangqabini, 40, died after being shot in Delft South on Friday March 19. He was off duty at the time. A 23-year-old man has been charged with his murder.
Constable Mangqabini’s uncle, Ncedisani Dindili, speaking on behalf of the family, said they had learnt from Mowbray police station’s human resources department on Sunday that the provincial SAPS office had not approved an official police funeral or memorial service, citing Covid-19.
“I was informed that both the official memorial and funeral was cancelled,” he said.
The family were disappointed and hurt, he said, as they had been given a warm welcome at Constable Mangqabini’s workplace and had been asked how many relatives would attend a memorial planned for Wednesday March 31.
“Arrangements had been made but then it got cancelled,” Mr Dindili said.
The family had had to make other funeral arrangements and his nephew’s body had been transported to the Eastern Cape for a funeral there, he said.
“The difficulty we have as a family is that after 11 years of good service he won’t be having a dignified funeral like any police member.”
The family said the decision was puzzling as Police Minister Bheki Cele and various police officials had attended a memorial at the beginning of March for two slain Kraaifontein officers.
According to the latest Covid-19 briefing by President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Tuesday March 30, funerals are permitted but no more than 100 people can attend and they can’t last longer than two hours.
Mowbray police referred the Tatler to the provincial SAPS officer for comment.
Provincial police spokeswoman Brigadier Novela Potelwa said the memorial service and official funeral were a matter between the employer and the dead officer’s family. “If there is anything that the family seeks clarity on, they are encouraged to approach the employer,” she said.
Mr Dindili said the family were still in shock and were not coping.
“It’s a wound that would never heal,” he said. “My nephew was a breadwinner, the family lost the diamond of the home.”
Constable Mangqabini is survived by his four young children.