MK veteran still lying in morgue

2016-12-01 06:00

Slulami Raymond Gqokoma, the MK veteran who passed away in a fire at the Sizamile Old Age Home in Langa, has still not been buried, as finding his next of kin is proving difficult.

Gqokoma, 60, died after his room caught fire at home. He was the only one who succumbed to the hazard.

Leticia Vaphi, who runs the centre, said the fact that the old man was still lying at the morgue was cause for concern.

“We need to find his next of kin in order to do the DNA, to determine his identity,” she said.

“(Although) We are so sure that it is him that died in the fire, but police say what if it was not him.

Police have registered him as an unknown, which means we have a missing person here, because we never saw him again after that incident.

This is badly affecting all of us here. We are not happy at all,” Vaphi said.

Vaphi received information from Home Affairs that Gqokoma is registered as married to Nomapha Tshewula and that they have three children together.

She said she was told that his family lives in Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape.

“That came as a shock to me, because he never indicated that he was married and that he has children. His nephews also said they were not aware that he was married and that he had three children. I was told to bring a letter from the police station which will give them a green light to give me the information about his wife and children, but the police are not helping me in this regard,” she added.

Lelethu Gqokoma, the deceased’s nephew, said they are also shocked about the claims that the deceased was married and that he had children.

“We do not know that he was married and that he has children. We are surprised about that information. We understand that it will take time for him to get buried and that there is a procedure that must be followed,” Gqokoma said.

.Meanwhile, Buyiswa Matuka, who was admitted in hospital after inhaling smoke during the incident, is still fighting for her life at Tygerberg Hospital.

Vaphi said the reason Matuka-who has been a resident at the centre for four years- is still in hospital is that she has a “weak health.”

.Vaphi also said a volunteer, who worked as a security guard at the centre, was released on bail after he was charged for the murder of Mawethu Ndonyana, 52.

Ndonyana was involved in a fight with the suspect on the evening of 11 October and died in Groote Schuur Hospital the following day as results of his injuries.

She said the family of the suspect contributed R8000,00 for Ndonyana’s funeral.

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