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winnie blames eskom

By Penwell Dlamini penwelld@sowetan.co.za | Aug 11, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela blames Eskom for the gas heater explosion that killed three members of the Ndlovu family near her Orlando West home.

"It is difficult for us not to blame Eskom for this tragedy. There was no warning about the blackout, hence the family was seated around the gas heater.

"They should have had electricity but Eskom failed to deliver," said Madikizela-Mandela, a friend of Charlotte Ndlovu, grandmother of the deceased.

Madikizela-Mandela was speaking to about 2000 mourners at the St Martin's Catholic Church in Killarney, Soweto, yesterday.

Phindile Ndlovu, 30, her eight-year-old daughter Fikile, and her three-year-old cousin Paballo were killed when a gas heater exploded in their home on Tuesday night.

"This is one occasion when it is hard to understand God," Madikizela-Mandela said.

She also announced that businesses and individuals had raised R300000 for the Ndlovu family. She also told mourners that Mqondisi Gumede, managing director of Sunderland Ridge construction firm Imison, has pledged to destroy the burnt structure and build a new house designed according to the Ndlovus wishes.

Mourners could only find comfort and solace in God's presence as they struggled to comfort the grieving Ndlovu family.

"Only God can heal wounds such as those suffered by the Ndlovu family," said neighbour Sipho Khoza.

Proceedings were interrupted by crying family and friends who could not contain themselves as speakers took turns to relive the tragedy.

The house was completely burnt down but seven other family members miraculously escaped the flames.

Survivors included 29-day-old baby Nthabeleng, who was passed through a window by her mother Phindile, who herself unfortunately failed to escape the flames.

About 10 family members were in the house in Orlando West at the time. The house is next to Nelson Mandela's old home on Vilakazi Street.

Madikizela-Mandela likened the pain to what she felt during the Soweto uprising of 1976.


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