Funeral parlour owners' threat to shut down Home Affairs ends in no-show

Despite a no-show by protesters at most Home Affairs offices, the task team’s Muzi Hlengwa was adamant that the protest would continue, adding that they had had delays as they were assisting their members who were arrested in Pretoria on Tuesday.

FILE: Department of Home Affairs. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - It’s been business as usual at Home Affairs offices around Johannesburg and Cape Town on Wednesday despite threats of a national shutdown by funeral undertakers over the issuing of death certificates.

Their protest outside the Home Affairs head office in Pretoria turned violent on Tuesday, with police using stun grenades to disperse angry protestors. Two people were arrested.

READ MORE: Funeral parlour owners protest over restrictive legislation

At the heart of the protest was the issuing of a certificate of competence test, which allowed funeral parlours to register deaths on behalf of bereaved families. Undertakers under the banner, “Unification Task Team”, wanted government to amend regulations so that they could move bodies from mortuaries and forensic laboratories for burial.

Despite a no-show by protesters at most Home Affairs offices, the task team’s Muzi Hlengwa was adamant that the protest would continue, adding that they had had delays as they were assisting their members who were arrested in Pretoria on Tuesday.

“The leadership is still locked up in Pretoria and we are trying to get those arrested yesterday and we are also assisting those who were injured yesterday,” he said.

Hlengwa said they would still intensify their protest and shut down all Home Affairs offices until their demands were met.

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