Kids die in service protests

By Drum Digital
23 February 2011

THEIR eyes are fixed on the open door as they huddle together in their tiny shack. The young parents look as if they’re expecting their two little girls to come skipping through that door at any moment. But they won’t – they drowned just two days earlier when apparently running in fear from police shooting rubber bullets and teargas at protesters in this North West township.

These girls became the innocent victims of the public service protests that have engulfed many of our townships in the lead up to the local government elections in May 2011. But the elections are far from the minds of parents Emily Mosetlho (27) and Shadrack Bokate (30) as they sit in their small shack in Boipelo with their faces frozen in shock.

“I still don’t believe they have left us,” a heavily pregnant Emily tells us. “It’s like a bad dream that won’t stop.” The nightmare began when Kelebogile (9) and Refiloe (7) Mosetlho were playing in the yard. It was day one of the public service protests in this once-thriving township 56 km from Taung. Residents took to the streets demanding better service from their government and specifically the construction of storm-water drains and roads.

Read the article in the Drum of 3 March 2011 – and share your views below.

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