The Doves funeral group apologised late on Friday for a social media post in which they said they were praying for fitness expert Sbahle Mpisane’s recovery following a car crash in Durban in the early hours of Thursday.
The 25-year-old, who is in a relationship with Bafana star Itumeleng Khune and is understood to have lost a friend in the accident when her BMW rolled, remains in critical condition in St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban.
Among the many wishing her well was the well-known national funeral parlour brand Doves on Twitter and Facebook.
They shared a photo of her with the words “we’re praying for you” after advertising their catchphrase, “Insuring a Dignified Service”.
The unintended ghoulishness of this was not missed by South Africans and Doves deleted the posts.
That tasteless Doves tweet about Sbahle reminds me of Desmond Dube saying that a famous undertaker once said he hated the Arrive Alive adverts with passion. It was a joke but the message is that capitalists only want money. They just don't care about your pain.
— Phindile Kunene (@kunenephindz) August 11, 2018
Dear @Doves_Funerals we only associate you with death & funerals because that is how you make your money. Imagine Sbahle’s family logging onto twitter & seeing this? So distasteful and inhumane! ???? https://t.co/KnmEim7j8R
— MaDube (@MsMahlengy) August 10, 2018
So you guys are angry that Doves wished a speed recovery for Sbahle just because it's a funeral company?
— Velaphi (@_Velaphi_M12) August 10, 2018
what made it worse is you made it look like an advert for ur company or a twisted meme. If any company made a corporate looking post card with their logo and Sbahle's photo it would be tacky right now.
— Premilla Photography (@picsbypre) August 10, 2018
Chief executive Minki Rafenyalo told IOL that people had misunderstood their intentions and that the posts were part of their campaign to change perceptions about the funeral parlour industry.
“We do not profit from death. We are more for life instead of death,” she was quoted as saying.
She said there would be an official apology, and they would “never wish death upon anyone as a business”, she said.
The apology was tweeted shortly thereafter on Friday night.
Doves is a corporate citizen & like all South Africans we are concerned about Sbahle’s well being. We share the anxiety for her speedy recovery & wish her well.We acknowledge that some were offended by our tweet but we maintain we meant no harm.We apologize for any offence caused
— Doves Funerals (@Doves_Funerals) August 10, 2018