Sat Jul 26 09:06:35 SAST 2014

Sindane burial row

Apr 7, 2013 | Amanda Ngudle |

Amanda Ngudle reports about the sad end of Happy's unhappy life.

FAMILIAL LOVE: Julia Mzayiya, Happy Sindane's 'sister'. Picture by Mabuti Kali
FOND MEMORIES: Happy Sindane

 He was as scruffy as the street kids and stray cats he ran around with. He was carrying a dish of boiled peanuts which he sold at Oakmoor railway station 

EVEN in death, it seems Happy Sindane will never know the meaning of his name.

A new squabble for his body erupted on Wednesday, just three days before his burial at the Sindane homestead in Tweefontein, Mpumalanga.

A woman, who identified herself as Julia Mzayiya and Happy's sister, called the Sindanes to contest the burial rights of her "brother". She said she was from Diepsloot in Joburg.

She told Sindane family members her wish was to lay "her late brother" to rest as a Mzayiya.

Anna Sindane suggested that she pay them a visit.

"She came here at 2am on Thursday morning to talk the family into releasing the body to her so she could bury him in Diepsloot where she and the Mzayiyas live," Anna said. "We can't do that. Happy has already been reported to the Sindanes as their departed son. All the rituals to pass him over have been done."

On Friday Julia said the Mzayiyas would not be attending the funeral.

"Rina Mzayiya is Happy's biological mother who disappeared in 1998 and to this day, we don't know where she is. Rina had a twin sister called Irene who was my mother. Betty, who raised Happy, was just a neighbour and Rina's friend,who also died in 2002," said Julia, who last saw Happy in 2011.

She also claims that Rina was a drifter and left Happy in Betty's care. My mom took Happy's younger brothers Zwelakhe and Nkosinathi."

Weeping, she said she had hoped Happy's life would have had a happier ending.

Happy was  a warm and lovely boy

THE relationship that Happy Sindane formed with Judge Martinus Kruger, who presided over his identity case in 2003, came full circle yesterday.

Kruger delivered a brief but emotional eulogy at the funeral of Sindane in Tweefontein in Mpumalanga yesterday.

Kruger said he had fond memories of Sindane and likened him to wood on a cold winter night.

"He was a warm and lovely boy and to see him laugh was something I loved," the judge said.

The service was simple with programme cards that did not have Sindane's photo on them in line with the simple but troubled life he lived.

But the crowd of more than 2000 people from all walks of life painted a picture of a man who had finished his race with flying colours.

But the Mzayiyas, Sindane's family on his mother's side, were not present and no one was more upset than Jacqueline Mofokeng, one of the trustees of Sindane's trust.

"I extended a welcoming hand to the Mzayiyas to work together in burying Happy but they are not here today," she said.

ngudlea@sundayworld.co.za or Twitter @amandan777

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