Qwa Qwa mother of boy who died in river after being sent to fetch water: ““The pain is unbearable”

The river where 8 year old Musa Mbele tragically drowned (PHOTO: Supplied)
The river where 8 year old Musa Mbele tragically drowned (PHOTO: Supplied)

Phindile Mbele is grieving the death of her child who fell into the river after he’d been sent to fetch water at a river in Maluti-a-Phofung, Qwa Qwa.

“The pain is unbearable,” the 37-year-old mother tells Move!.

The tragedy happened on 18 January and eight-year-old Musa was laid to rest a week later. “It was probably the second time that I sent Musa and Moleboheng (12) to fetch water at the nearby river,” Phindile says.

She will never forget the day when she was told by members of the community that her child had fallen into the river. “After the search, they found my child’s body,” she adds.

Read more: Boy drowns in Langa

Phindile says Musa was wearing flip-flops when one fell into the river and he was trying to reach for it when the tragedy occured. “I am hurt, broken and I don't know what to say. I am numb. My baby is really gone but I believe what happened could have been prevented. I blame the municipality, had they given us basic municipality services as citizens of South Africa this couldn't have happened, if I had a tap in my yard my child wouldn't have died,” she adds.

Little Musa’s uncle, Teboho Mofokeng, says the family is hurt and angry. “If only we had taps this would not be happening. Right now, there are people at that river getting water. What is our other option? Since 2018 our municipality has failed us.

Even more when Musa died, they came two days before the burial to give us some contribution. Why so late when there are a lot of arrangements to be made before? We thank God for Moporofeta [Prophet Mboro] who came, prayed and supported us,” Teboho says.

Read more: Boy, 10, drowns at Witbank holiday resort

The unemployed mother didn’t have any money to bury her child. “I reached out to Prophet Mboro for help to bury my child because I have seen him help people on TV,” she says. He indeed heeded the call by praying with the family and offering financial support.

Phindile’s husband and the children’s father died in 2017 and she has since been left to take care of them on her own. “Right now, I am praying to find work so I can provide and put food on table,” Phindile says.

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