Fri Oct 21 15:17:43 CAT 2016


By Canaan Mdletshe | Nov 17, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

LIES and broken promises. This sums up what happened to the Magwaza family in Mpumuza outside Pietermaritzburg.

Last year Sowetan carried a story about the plight of the family.

At the time the mother, Jabulile Magwaza, who was disabled, made a passionate plea for help from the authorities since she was not getting a disability grant despite being confined to a wheelchair.

The situation was so bad that three of her children, aged 13, 14 and 19, had dropped out of school.

After Sowetan published the story in February MEC for social development Meshack Hadebe visited the family.

He helped the children register for grants, ensured that they went back to school and saw to it that Magwaza was registered for a disability grant.

Hadebe also pledged to build a proper house for them since the one they were living in was on the verge of collapse.

But a year later life has not changed for the family. In fact, it has become worse because Jabulile has died, leaving the children with empty stomachs.

The children live all by themselves in a dilapidated mud hut after their mother's untimely death last month.

Since the children could not afford to bury her Jabulile's relatives from Estcourt had taken her to bury her there.

The eldest son, Sphamandla, 23, said his mother died of natural causes.

"Even in Estcourt there were difficulties," he said. "The local councillor undertook to pay the mortuary before it would release the body."

Sphamandla was the only member of his family who went to the funeral because there was no money for the others siblings to go and "say goodbye".

As if that was not enough, Nhlonipho, 21, has been admitted to hospital suffering from TB, the same sickness that killed their father in 2007.

Three children Samkelisiwe, 15, and Phindile, 14, who were in grades 5 and 4, respectively, quit school in January and another, Zama, 20, also dropped out in grade 11 after falling pregnant. She has a two-month-old baby girl.

"The only thing we have is this bag of mealie meal that our mother bought before she died," Zama said.

Hadebe said he was concerned by the turn of events.

"When we stepped in and identified a site on which to build a house politics got in the way and we couldn't do that," Hadebe said.

"The least we can do now is to take the two young children to a place of safety and ensure that they go back to school. But the real problem is the older siblings."

He said that the department was prevented from building the house by an IFP ward councillor.


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