We had clean water under Mangope, dead protester’s sister tells Nathi Mthethwa

2014-01-15 08:51

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She hated the old regime, but they had clean water under Lucas Mangope, the sister of one of the men who was killed in a protest over water has told Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Mthethwa yesterday apologised to the family of Hosea Ruhabe, who was allegedly killed by the police during a service delivery protest in Mothutlung township outside Brits in the North West.

Local residents took to the streets on Monday to voice their dissatisfaction with the quality of the water they receive from the Madibeng local municipality. Yesterday, the situation was still volatile in the township, and streets were barricaded with rocks.

Mthethwa told Rahube’s family that people should not die for services, and later appealed to residents to cooperate with the investigation into the two deaths.

He was accompanied by national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega. He was later joined by North West Premier Thandi Modise and Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. Molewa suggested that the disruption of the water supply could be due to foul play.

Hosea’s sister, Samantha Rahube, told Mthethwa and Phiyega that she could no longer trust people in police uniform after what had happened to her brother, and said her brother’s alleged killers had a duty to protect citizens.

“I am scared of the police now ... We drink dirty water and his [Hosea’s] death is not an accident.

“I hated the past regime, but we drank clean water under Mangope. You as a mother who felt labour pains, how would you feel if this happened to your child?” she said.

She told the government officials and politicians that they walked long distances to fetch clean water, and said they always ran short of water. They could not even give the mourners who visited them something to drink.

Hosea (28) had been working at an open cast mine in Marikana to support his family, which depended on him.

“Where will the money to pay the mortuary come from? Or the money to pay for the coffin and other costs,” an emotional Rahube asked.

Some residents gathered outside the house and were joined by a sprinkling of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters supporters. They booed Mthethwa as he came out of the house, and shouted “water, water” as Modise made her way to her luxury German car.

Malema, who had earlier told residents that he would give a head of cattle to each of the deceased families, visited the Rahubes after Mthethwa’s departure.

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