Members of funeral club with hundreds of contributors in Khayelitsha, believe the chairperson of the stokvel has been buying shacks for himself in Enkanini informal settlement and also using their money to build a house in the Eastern Cape.
On Sunday about 100 incensed members of the Phakamile Funeral Club, from Kraaifontein, Strand and Khayelitsha marched to suspended chairperson Vusumzi Tiwani’s home in Khayelitsha’s Enkanini informal settlement to demand he pay back R300 000 they believe he stole from the club.
However, when they got there, he was nowhere to be found.
“All we want is our money, the money we paid to bury our people,” said upset members.
They claim about ten people have passed away and there’s no money to bury them.
The club’s new vice-secretary, Siyabonga Magxeka, said when members went to the bank last month to try get money to bury deceased relatives, there was no money.
He said they approached the treasurer, who said the money was all passed on to Tiwani who would deposit it at the bank.
Magxeke said when he confronted Tiwani last month, he said he used the money. Magxeke said the matter was taken to the civil court in Khayelitsha and Tiwani admitted in court that he had spent some of the money, but there should still be about R200 000 in the bank.
Yesterday (subs: Mon) Tiwani said when he was suspended as chair last month when they suspected money was missing, there was “close to R200 000” in the bank.
But the new committee members claim the account balance is zero, and none of the ordinary members have seen the bank statement showing zero.
Member of the new committee established since Tiwani was suspended, Bulelwa Mvula, said those who had signing powers never deposited money into Tiwani’s account, all the money went into the official bank account.
Mvula said she was present when the last money drawn from the bank to pay for the funerals of five beneficiaries who died in Strand.
“When Tiwani left there was a money in our account. At that time we had lots of deaths from Strand area. Other money was also used to pay auditors,” she said. However, the auditors were not professionals.
She said some money might also be unaccounted for as Tiwani used to pay for transport, for which there were no slips.
Mvula thus believes that the amount missing could be less than R60 000 and not R300 000 as members claim.
The civil court action against Tiwani is still ongoing and it is not yet clear how much money Tiwani admits to taking. – Nombulelo Damba