The Amampondomise nation is reviving an historical cultural practise to fight the spread of COVID-19.
The nation has resolved to postpone all funerals and only do burials according to the ukuqusheka (private funeral , attended by close family members) tradition.
This means a deceased is buried by close family and the dignified funeral is then held at a later date.
Mass funerals are in violation of lockdown regulations and are said to be the cause of the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the Eastern Cape.
Government raise concerns about the role of funerals in the transmission of COVID-19:
There are currently 535 cases in the Eastern Cape. Ten deaths have been reported.
The Amampondomise kingdom is the first in the Eastern Cape to suspend funerals.
This decision was not taken lightly.
King Luzuko Matiwane says: “We have a pandemic in our doorstep, we have seen what it is doing in Port st Johns so we are appealing to all Amampondomise to suspend these funerals, at a later stage we will continue once everything is ok.”
By practising ukuqusheka all lockdown regulations will be adhered to.
Once the lockdown is lifted then proper services will be accorded to those buried under ukuqusheka (private funeral , attended by close family members).
Amampondomise Kingdom Spokesperson Chief Bakhanyisele Rhanuka says: “It is required that only immediate family members attend and there’s no gathering and there’s no service or programme.”
The move by the Amampondomise is welcomed.
Contralesa Secretary in Eastern Cape Mkhanyiseli Dudumayo says: “This is a great initiative and we urge other kingdoms and also people to follow suit as this will save their lives.”
The kingdom also called on its people to suspend other traditional events like weddings and home comings.
Funerals in Eastern Cape a major concern when it comes to the spreading of COVID-19: