My child died for nothing, says mom
A GRIEVING mother who lost her child during service delivery protests at Tafelkop in Limpopo says her child died in vain because the community still does not have water.
Jenny Mawela's son, Ben Mawela, 19, was shot dead during protests for an adequate water supply in the area, which falls under the Sekhukhune district municipality.
The Grade 10 pupil was buried last Saturday.
Limpopo police spokeswoman Lieutenant-Colonel Ronel Otto said no arrests had been made.
Speaking to Sowetan yesterday, Mawela said: "We still do not have water. My child died for nothing.
"My family has been living in this area since 1991 and we have never had a steady supply of water. The municipality is not even bothered."
Ben Mawela was a pupil at Abraham Serote Secondary School. His classmates described him as a good pupil who was well liked.
Sekhukhune spokesman Willie Masoba said: "It is not true that we are not providing water to the community. They (the community) know that they get water on a rotational basis. On Monday water is available in one section, and Tuesday in another section.
"We don't know what they are fighting for. We have had meetings with them since last year. We want to renew old pipelines from Groblesdal to Tafelkop. We also want to renew the reservoir from Groblesdal to Tafelkop, it is not working. We have old mini-treatment plants that we are fixing. We cannot put a timeline on when all this will be done."
Mawela's family said the last time they had running water was on Sunday.
"We just pray that when we wake up we have water. Otherwise, we have to buy water from neighbours who have boreholes."
Reneilwe Mashilo said she travelled at least an hour to get water at a municipal reservoir.
Yesterday, she and her neighbours were at the reservoir doing laundry. "It is easier to do laundry here. When we are done we then go back home and get drums to get drinking water. It is a very straining process."
Twenty-one people were arrested over the protests and charged with public violence. They were released on warning and are expected back in the Nebo Magistrate's Court on September 20. - email@example.com