African family wants govt. to hold off on cremation

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The family of South African cruise ship employee Nabalue Bhengu, who died in New Providence last month from tuberculosis is hoping that the government will hold off on having the body cremated and allow the family to have an official viewing first.

“There has been so much drama from all sides – from South Africa, people from home, the media, everyone,” said Bhengu’s close friend Cozie Behanu on Thursday.

“I appreciate the love and support that everybody has been giving to us and the only thing that we would love and appreciate from this side in The Bahamas is just for the family to get the chance to see her for the last time before cremation.

“We don’t want to fight about it.

“We have accepted the cremation and the fact that there are no facilities that could have accommodated us to take her body back home, which is another story for another day but all we are asking for is just for the family to see her for the last time.

“This is just how I feel about the situation.”

Nabalue Bhengu was an employee of the Mediterranean Shipping Company.

The South African native fell ill while the cruise ship was docked at the port of Nassau last month. She was taken to hospital and later died on Feb. 12.

Government has refused to repatriate Bhengu’s body to South Africa due to health protocols.

Meanwhile, Cozie Behanu said since her friend’s death, it has not been easy, but she is now coming to grips with the loss and is now at peace.

“I would just like for her to rest in peace as well,” Behanu said.

Behanu told Eyewitness News that the family understands that the government intends to move ahead with Bhengu’s cremation on Saturday.

The family said they plan to bury Bhengu’s ashes alongside her mother’s grave in South Africa.