A grieving family dragged the corpse of their dead relative to the office of an insurance company after they refused to pay out on a funeral plan without proof he was dead.

The shocking scenes played out at a branch of Old Mutual insurance in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Ntombenhle Mhlongo and Thandaza Mtshali took the body of uncle Sifiso Justice Mhlongo to the office after the company held back from paying out on the claim.

The $3427 payout had been delayed for nine days because of issues with the paperwork, which led to the family being unable to perform important tribal rites.

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Ntombenhle told News 24: "We are not rich people. We are poor and they were refusing to pay us. We are still so heartbroken."

"We kept going back but they kept stonewalling and we were angry, frustrated and just wanted to make sure we could properly prepare and bury him.

"We thought if the documents do not give them enough answers then maybe the body will."

The women refused to move the corpse until they were paid. Photo / Twitter
The women refused to move the corpse until they were paid. Photo / Twitter

The video, which went viral this week, shows the women carry a body bag into the office and place it on the floor, before handing over paperwork and his identification.

The determined women then refused to budge until they were paid, leading a frantic call to head office who quickly agreed to pay - as long as the corpse was removed.

A witness said: "As soon as the ladies were promised they would be paid they marched back inside the office and in front of the counter grabbed an end each and carried the corpse back out.

"Two men went to their aid and helped them manoeuvre the body bag into the boot of the car that they brought the body in and people were just watching open-mouthed as all this was played out."

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Old Mutual took to Twitter to say the incident was "most unsettling" and claiming they were "sympathetic towards the family during this difficult time".