After hearing the plight of the family of slain Fort Hare University master’s student, a funeral parlour has stepped in and offered to provide a full funeral service free of charge for the student.
Yonela Boli, 24, an MSc Geology student, died at the Victoria Hospital in Alice, Eastern Cape on Saturday after being stabbed in the chest on the university’s Alice campus, allegedly by a “close female friend”.
News24 previously reported that he had died at around 5am after arriving at the facility at 4.30am, about two-and-a-half hours after being stabbed.
Luyanda Matandabuzo, managing director at Khwalo Funeral services said he was made aware of the incident by his relative as well as Eastern Cape health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo, the founder of Sizwe Kupelo Foundation.
He said he was informed about the situation in Boli’s family, as well as the fact that the 24-year-old was the first in the family to attend university and was the breadwinner at home.
Matandabuzo said he then took the decision to fund the funeral service, including storing the body in the mortuary.
The parlour will offer the casket, tents, transportation, and chairs and all other equipment, except for groceries, he added.
“I will wait for the family to confirm with me because I want them to tell me exactly what they want. How do they picture the funeral of their loved one to look.
“I am open to anything to make sure that this young man is buried in a dignified manner,” he said.
Matandabuzo said Boli’s family situation took him back because he was also from a disadvantaged background where he was also a breadwinner in his family.
“I learnt that he was the first person to go to university in his home and I am very sorry for that family because I know exactly, coming from a poor family, [that the family] was starting to have hope,” he said.
Matandabuzo said he has been in contact with the family and would wait for them it to give him instructions on their wishes.
A “close female friend” was arrested in connection with the alleged stabbing.
Her name is being withheld until she appears in the Alice Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.