Sad farewell for brothers killed by cops
FAMILY members and relatives fainted during a sad and moving burial of three Memela siblings - Xolisani and Mzothiswa, 25, and their younger brother Zikhaliphele, 22 - on Saturday.
The mass burial was held at their home in Donnybrook in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. The Ingwe municipality provided the coffins and groceries because the deceased were the only breadwinners.
The siblings died at the hands of the police while they were asleep in their home in Mt Moria, near Phoenix, last Tuesday. They were accused of being criminals.
Their father, Silawuli Memela, said his sons were innocent.
"How could they have attacked police while they were asleep?
"The police have robbed me of the children who were my last hope. Now I will have to go out and start looking for jobs to support my family because the only people who put food on the table and clothed us are no more," he said sobbing.
Some relatives could not hold back tears and cried hysterically as the three coffins were lined up in a marquee. Some fainted as they battled to come to terms with what had happened.
The independent complaints directorate has already visited the family to gather information as part of its investigation. The weapons that police claimed were used to attack them have been taken for ballistics testing.
Mt Moria ward committee member Sebenzile Ndwalane said: "We cherish the moments we shared with them. They were well-behaved boys. They lived as though they knew their stay in this world would be short-lived and we want to remember them like that."
Nokuthula Mngadi, ANC deputy chairperson in the area, said they were still shocked.
"People still want answers and we trust the authorities will help us. It would have been better had we heard that they were suspected of crimes or if we had received complaints from the community.
"They died in a hail of bullets for no apparent reason. It is shocking that such things still happen so many years after liberation," Mngadi said.