Widow’s fight to erect husband’s tombstone derailed

Home National Widow’s fight to erect husband’s tombstone derailed
Widow’s fight to erect husband’s tombstone derailed

A widow who approached the High Court to grant her the sole right to erect a tombstone on her late husband’s grave, saw her case derailed at the last minute because of incomplete court documents. 

Edith Bailey lodged an urgent application in the Windhoek High Court on Friday, but her matter was struck from the roll by Judge Esi Schimming-Chase because she did not attach an affidavit with the notice of motion, and did not cite the interested parties. 

She did the application in person. 

Edith, whose husband John Wayne Bailey died last year, lived on the Brakwater plot belonging to her father-in-law, and buried her husband there. She now claims ownership of the grave because she paid for the excavation.

An affidavit filed in court states that Edith
said her late husband’s father, Sonnyboy Bailey, and John Wayne’s two sisters – Shirley Kruger and Ronelda Davids – forcefully removed her from the plot she shared for 36 years with her late husband before his death. 

While they were divorced in 2004, she said, they put up a common household at the plot, residing there peacefully and undisturbed. However, during a telephonic conversation with her sister-in-law, she was reliably informed that her father-in-law and his daughters were planning to erect a tombstone at the burial plot.  “I have neither been consulted, invited nor asked for permission,” the widow stated. 

She was thus not aware of the planned tombstone erection. 

Edith further said that she is the person named on the Deed of Grant to the cemetery plot, as she is the person who bought the cemetery plot. As such, she has the exclusive right to put a headstone on her late husband’s grave.

She stated that the family of the deceased had deprived her of the right to live at the plot she has been calling home for the past 36 years, and is now even attempting to deprive her of her right to have an inscription on her late husband’s headstone. 

Edith said she is the rightful owner of the burial plot, and has the exclusive right to erect a headstone. As the registered owner, she is thus legally entitled to remove both Sonnyboy Bailey and his two daughters from the burial plot. 

The widow continued that the family of her late husband is flexing their considerable financial muscle by throwing her out of the common home, and unilaterally deciding to erect a tombstone on her partner’s grave, of which she is the registered owner.

– rrouth@nepc.com.na