No end in sight to Mom’s lengthy vigil for Nigeria collapse daughter

2014-11-06 00:00

MAYVIS Mkhize has been morning the loss of her daughter, Nokuphila Maphumulo, who died in the Nigeria building collapse, for almost two months.

Mkhize said she has been sitting on grass mats next to a burning candle every day – even the mourners from the Ezimbokodweni community, near Amanzimtoti, have stopped coming because the family is still waiting for her daughters remains to be repatriated.

Maphumulo (36) was one of 84 South Africans who died when a guesthouse of the Synagogue Church of all Nations collapsed in Nigeria.

More than 100 people were killed when the multi-storey guesthouse collapsed on September 12.

Three weeks ago the government informed the media that the DNA samples from the 116 victims were at a laboratory in Stellenbosch, outside Cape Town.

The Nigerian government had appointed the laboratory to identify the victims.

On October 12, City Press quoted Nigerian medical examiner, Professor John Obafunwa, as saying the bodies would be home by the end of the month but families are still waiting.

Yesterday Mkhize (56) was visited by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube and eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo who shared a prayer with the family.

Mkhize said she is often confronted by her 16-year-old grandson Siphamandla Maphumulo’s cries of, ‘Gogo, I am tired of waiting for mom’.

It has been a painful year for the unemployed woman. Earlier this year, her husband Simphiwe Mkhize died after a short illness.

When her cousin told her that her daughter was killed in the Nigeria collapse, she was shattered.

“The last time I saw her was in February during her father’s funeral because they live in Cape Town.

“We have been waiting for the body so that we can bury her. They told us that they are not sure when the remains will be coming back but they said they are working with the Nigerian government,” said Mkhize.

MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said, “As the government, the present situation makes us feel helpless, but the government is working tirelessly to achieve a closure on this tormenting experience.”

• amanda.khoza@witness.co.za

Mayvis Mkhize (56) has been mourning her loss for almost two months now. She was visited by Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube and Durban mayor James Nxumalo on Tuesday. They shared a prayer with her.

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