“Help me bury my son”-Mother

2018-10-25 06:02
A bereaved Nozuka Maliwa says she does not know where to start with her son’s funeral arrangements.       PHOTO: THULANI MAGAZI

A bereaved Nozuka Maliwa says she does not know where to start with her son’s funeral arrangements. PHOTO: THULANI MAGAZI

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With the death of her husband still fresh in her mind and still recovering from the related expenses, Nozuko Maliwa now faces a monumental task to bury her son.

Sango Nqeneka(31) tragically died when his shack caught fire on Saturday morning, which, boosted by strong winds, quickly spread throughout Town Two, thus destroying hundreds of other shacks and leaving more than a thousand souls homeless.

Since the fire broke out, help has been pouring in for the community, however, none of this the way of the Maliwa family.

They have been forced to shelve funeral arrangements until they get a little bit of assistance.

“I do not know where to start,” said Maliwa(59), a mother of six. “As I speak to you I am still in debt as a result of my husband’s funeral in February ... I was hoping to get myself into a burial society once all my debts have been settled, and now this ...”

Maliwa said she only managed to save a few documents, before the fire consumed her own shack.

“I am still mourning my husband and my mourning clothes have also been destroyed by the fire. I am left with nothing,” said the mother of six. “Any form of help is welcome.”

Battling to control her tears, Maliwa said Nqeneka had been the family’s sole breadwinner. She described him as helpful. “He helped burying his father. It was tough ... It is now even harder for us to start funeral arrangements for him,” said Maliwa.

Maliwa added she was fast asleep when she heard a “thunder” like sound. Unsure what was happening, she said she quickly stepped outside to investigate.

“Flames were already coming out of his shack,” she said. She added that she ran back to her shack to salvage some of her belongings.

“I was confused. I had a child with me and my only hope was that he was not there,” she said. It was only two hours later that she learnt of her son’s tragic demise. She said while people cleared the rubble, they discovered the charred body. “The sun set in the day for me,” said Maliwa.

Maliwa said they have been looking at possible ways to bury Nqeneka without any luck.

And while they are stuck between a rock and a hard place, it was time for government to act on the plight of SST residents and many other informal setttlement residents.

“We have had close encounters in the past, but this time we were not so lucky,” she said. “The government must do something. I am so paranoid right now and I am worried about going back to my shack.”

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