family battle to bury Rat victim

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The South African Shack and Rural Dwellers Organization (SASRDO) has lashed out at the eThekwini municipality for failing to help the Mzobe family whose baby died after being gnawed by a rat on Sunday.

Four-month-old Nkosingiphile Cwera met her untimely death at the Kennedy Road informal settlement in Durban.

And despite city manager Mike Sutcliffe's offer to help, SASRDO said yesterday no help had come as promised.

SASRDO chairman, Thembinkosi Qumbela, said: "After both the child's parents told us about their circumstances, like the rest of the shack dwellers, we were expecting the municipality to show some sympathy and lend a helping hand, but we were wrong.

"Their quietness is shocking, but this is how they are. They couldn't care less and it's disgusting."

Qumbela said he had visited the family yesterday and their situation was a concern.

"Like the rest of the people, they have nothing. The only people who have helped them are the local church because the child's father is a member.

"They are the only people who have helped them with a burial site, otherwise they would have been stuck, not knowing where and how to bury their child," said Qumbela.

He accused the municipality of spending millions of rands of taxpayers' money on building stadiums and fancy hotels, but neglecting simple things such as taking care of the people who put them in power.

"When elections come, we know they will be flocking to our area looking for votes.

"To them we are just like cannon fodder who push them into fancy offices," he said.

Spokesman for the municipality, Sindi Mtolo, denied that they had failed to assist the grieving family, saying that they could do so if approached.

"The municipality can help, not because we are responsible for the child's death, but on humanitarian grounds," said Mtolo.

"But again, we need to guard against setting a precedent that might be problematic for us in future, because if such a thing happens to other families, they would want to be assisted as well."