Preparations for the funeral of kwaito megastar Mandoza were almost thrown into disarray when two funeral parlours had a tug-of- war over the body of the artist.
Mzansi Mirror can reveal that B3 Funeral Services and Maziya Funeral Services jostled to bury the body of the superstar in a desperate bid to amass mileage and free advertising.
B3 Funeral Services, who are also sponsors of PSL club Bloemfontein Celtic, came out of the tussle with a bloodied nose thanks to producer, actor and record label boss Tshepo Nzimande, who egged on Maziya to clinch the deal.
Mandoza, who died of a brain tumour on Sunday last week, was buried by Maziya Funeral Services at Westpark Cemetery Park on Friday.
The funeral parlour’s owner Mothusi Maziya confirmed Mandoza’s family acquired his services to bury the award-winning singer. “I’m very close to Mandoza’s mother. She is my family. We are cousins. I don’t want to comment about the other matter, speak to the family,” he said.
Mandoza’s uncle Muziwakhe Tshabalala confirmed they rejected B3’s request to bury Mandoza.
He also confirmed they sneezed at suggestions from other quarters for B3 to join forces with Maziya.
“Maziya is family. Everything here is done by family. We told B3 representatives that we are happy with Maziya burying our son,” he said.
Asked if it was true that they rejected B3’s proposal to join forces with Maziya, Tshabalala said: “We didn’t want it that way. We didn’t see it that way.”
B3’s representative Nico Matsepe confirmed the Tshabalala family turned down their request to bury Mandoza.
“If I come to you and sell you a coffin, and you say, ‘No, I want to support my cousin’, what do you do?” he asked.
Matsepe downplayed allegations they would have harvested mileage and free publicity if the family had allowed them to bury the artist.
“I’m not in a position to predict, but to us, that is not an issue,” he said.
Nzimande, who owns Nzimande Funeral Services, said he was happy Maziya secured the deal to bury Mandoza.
“Maziya is my mentor and I’m happy that they handled the funeral very well. B3 cannot always monopolise. They must give developing parlours an opportunity to expose themselves,” he said.
News of the war between the two companies was brought to the fore by one of Mandoza’s close friends.
The friend, who did not want to be named, said Nzimande went bonkers when he learnt representatives from B3 were nuzzling the family to give them permission to bury the Nkalakatha hitmaker free of charge.
“He went there and told the family that Mandoza was his colleague in the music industry and that it would only be fair that he buries him. He said B3 only wanted to bury Mandoza because it was a publicity coup for them. He convinced the family to allow Maziya to bury Mandoza as he works closely with them,” said the friend.