South Africa: Sixaxeni Family Losing Hope of Bringing Daughter Home

After weeks of tireless fundraising, the Sixaxeni family finally managed to raise the R400,000 required for the repatriation of their daughter’s body from China.

But then the family was hit with devastating news.

The undertaker in possession of Lusanda Sixaxeni’s body cannot be sent the money for her repatriation all at once, and the family cannot afford to pay them in instalments.

Lusanda, a 27-year-old English teacher from Mossel Bay, succumbed to an infection last month in Beijing just days before she was scheduled to fly home.

Her family was told it would take R400,000 to bring her body home to save it from being cremated.

The family managed to eventually raise the money, but they have been told by the Beijing undertaker that they can only send a maximum payment of R30,000 a day.

Lusanda’s brother, Mandisi Sixaxeni, said the daily transfers would cost the family R1,300 a day and by the time the full payment is made, they would have paid over R10,000 in bank fee charges. This is a fee they say they cannot afford.

“This is a lot of money since we are only in possession of the amount that was requested to facilitate the process.

“We are now trying to explore other legal routes to be able to transfer the funds,” he explained.

The grieving brother added that they have completed and couriered all the required documents and were expecting Lusanda’s remains back in the country on Thursday.

Lusanda left South Africa in 2018 to teach English in China after struggling to find work in the country.

She kept daily contact with her family but on 30 August, she stopped responding to their calls.

The family reached out to the South African embassy on 6 September and a representative went to her flat accompanied by Chinese police.

There, they found Lusanda, weak and disoriented – but alive.

She was rushed to hospital where she succumbed to the infection on 12 September.

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