The Director of JP Funeral parlour did not want to waste the state time when he appeared in the Polokwane Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

On 20 October 2022 Lerato Paul Petla (59) pleaded guilty to 192 fraud charges.

Petla is the director of JP Funeral. A funeral parlour in Limpopo that provided clients with funeral services for the past 25 years.

Petla was on 12 October 2022 served with summons to appear in court. This was for allegedly contravening the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act 37 of 2002.

HAWKS INVESIGATIONS

The Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation received a complaint in March 2022. This was about a funeral parlour that was operating without a license. An intensive investigation was conducted.  It was then established that the funeral parlour has been providing its clients with funeral services for more than 25 years.

In terms of the act mentioned above, a license is required before conducting funeral parlour businesses or carrying out relevant services.

Petla was on 25 October 2022 sentenced to R10 000 or 12 months imprisonment wholly suspended for five years. On condition that he does not commit similar offence during the suspension period. He was also ordered to pay back one of the victims an amount of R13 375.

An unlicensed funeral home was the subject of a complaint to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation in March 2022. After a thorough inquiry. It was also determined that the funeral home had been serving its customers with funeral services for over 25 years.

According to the aforementioned act, a license is necessary before operating a funeral home business or rendering pertinent services.

FUNERAL PARLOUR RULES

1.25 In terms of Sub-regulation 3(1)(a) of the Regulations Relating to the Management of Human Remains published in Government Gazette 36473 of 22 May 2013. No person must store or prepare human remains on any premises except at an undertaker’s premises. Or a mortuary for which a certificate of competence has been issued by the relevant local authority and is still in effect.

The regulations are also published by the Minister of Health. In terms of Section 68(1) (b) read with Section 90(4) (c) of the National Health Act (Act 61 of 2003). Informal funeral undertakers in this context refer to funeral undertakers who operate from premises. Which have not been approved in terms of the regulations or have been exempted and undertakers who are not attached to an approved mortuary.

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