Mom relives pipe tragedy
TWO days after a main water supply pipe burst in Mamelodi, Pretoria, and left shack dwellers homeless and the area without water, a 32-year-old mother is still battling to accept that her baby was one of two children who died.
The exhausted mother of three, Gesta Mathonsi of Phomolong informal settlement, sat quietly on a wooden bench next to where the body of her four-month-old baby, Witness Mathonsi, was found.
"She was sleeping next to me on the bed. The next moment I found myself lying in water, on the floor, and my daughter was nowhere to be found. The section of the shack we were sleeping in had been blown away.
"About three hours later, members of the disaster management team found my daughter, covered in water, mud and corrugated iron sheets ... dead. She was trapped by a mesh wire fence."
Mathonsi's other two children had been with their grandparents in Limpopo.
The Tshwane Metro has since offered to assist bereaved families with the burial of the victims.
The municipality has also started relocating the affected families to temporary accommodation in community halls and disused school buildings.
It is still not yet clear what caused the pipe to burst.