Widow waits in vain for benefits

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Annah Molefe has waited for more than a decade to receive some money from her late husband's estate.

But the pensions administration officers in Pretoria are not giving her straight answers about the payments due to her.

Molefe's husband, Tshililo Netsharotha, who was a policeman at Jabulani police station, was shot in the chest on his way home in 1994.

He never went back to work and subsequently resigned because he was "medically unfit".

Molefe said her husband was in and out of hospital after the shooting incident and eventually died in 1997.

Molefe applied for death benefits in 1998 but up to now nothing has happened.

"It is a shame to tell people that my husband was a policeman, looking at how poor we are," said Molefe.

"I can't send my children to school because we don't even have food to eat.

"I have never received a cent from his death benefits yet I'm his widow. We are really suffering," she said. She first applied in 1998 but in 2000 was told her documents had been lost.

This happened more than three times from 2001 to 2002.

In 2003 she was told another woman, believed to be Netsharotha's wife, had claimed the benefits.

But in an affidavit in Sowetan's possession the woman denied any knowledge of Netsharotha.

Juanita Jansen, from the government employees pension fund, said Molefe's case was now under inquiry with the legal section of the pensions department.