The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture has been at odds with late soccer star Anele Ngcongca‘s family after being accused of not making any contact following his death.
Ngcongca died on 23 November following a car crash.
His sister Siyasanga Ngcongca announced his funeral had been postponed to 10 December due to his mother’s ill health.
“She expressed that the funeral cannot continue without her. We made the decision that her health is important as a family and postponed the funeral,” said Siyasanga.
However, the department has been accused of not making any contact with the family, apart from the statement it released a day after his death.
DSAC ON THE PADSING OF SOCCER PLAYER ANELE NGCONGCA pic.twitter.com/a989NZnyWS
— Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (@SportArtsCultur) November 24, 2020
“He is celebrated overseas and other European countries. He was a sport giant. He played for the World Cup! The entire South Africa is mourning Anele. Not a single minister has come forward to share message of condolences. Only Fikile Mbalula came to see Anele’s mother who is now ill. We thank you Mr Fix, ungumntu wabantu,” said Siyasanga on Twitter.
Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s spokesperson Masechaba Khumalo hit back at the claims, in a series of tweets that have been criticised by social media users.
Khumalo said Mthethwa could not visit the family due to the illness of Anele’s mother.
“For this reason the funeral has been moved to next week. Sundowns has provided R100,000. The Provincial Department of Sport provided R40,000. Thabo Tutu from the Provincial Department is part of the organising committee and has been working with a team lead by a family representative and looking at quotes, etc. Furthermore, he advises that the above funds will be sufficient to cover costs of the funeral.
“The family is of the view that there must be 20,000 people at the event. They were told that it must be confined to 100 people as per the Covid-19 health protocol. Thabo is arranging to meet with Anele’s sister who has been on social media and on radio, to request her not to be reckless and to withdraw her statements. I hope this clarifies things,” said Khumalo.
Dear @robertmarawa, neither the MEC nor Minister @NathiMthethwaSA can visit the family at this time as Anele’s mother has tested positive for COVID-19.
For this reason the funeral has been moved to next week.
— Masechaba Khumalo ???????? (@MasechabaNdlovu) December 2, 2020
She has been widely criticised for revealing the nature of Anele’s mother’s illness, among other issues.
“A diagnosis was only received on Monday 30th November..Anele passed away on 23 November…no statement. And no phone call to the Family came through from the Minister or his Office since his passing is all that Siyasanga was lamenting in her tweet,” responded Robert Marawa.
And no phonecall to the Family came through from the Minister or his Office since his passing is all that @SiyasangaNgcon3 was lamenting in her tweet. Nowhere did she say she’s asking for money which is what u r now highlighting in the pockets of donations u mention. Anele was a
— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) December 2, 2020
But Khumalo insisted that everything she said was already in the public domain.