MEC pledges homes

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Thousands of mourners converged on Molweni near Hillcrest in Durban to bid farewell to six of the 10 victims of a massive storm that ravaged the area.

Relatives and friends wept openly as clergymen read out the names of those who died and used biblical references to help families cope with their grief.

Among the dead were three children - the youngest of whom was only four.

When the storm struck, homes were destroyed by hail stones bigger than golf balls.

Keynote speaker at the funeral service on Saturday, social development MEC Meshack Radebe, promised that the more than 400 homes flattened in the storm would be ready by December 15. He said he would again visit the community two days before Christmas to give them food parcels.

"I do not care even if I come under fire for my efforts, I will be helping you the poor and needy."

Radebe made sure that the dead were buried in especially ordered cost-effective caskets.

"This is because we are all people. Those who died must be given a dignified send-off."

More than 1000 people were left homeless by the storm. The province's first lady, Zama Ndebele, and other provincial and local government leaders also attended the funeral. Last week Durban mayor Obed Mlaba and other party supporters pitched in to help rebuild local homes.