Stalin Mashiane’s son calls for ‘fair compensation’ after he died from cholera last year

Family says the outbreak was brutal, young and elderly lives were lost

Herman Moloi & Antonio Muchave Reporter & Photo Journalist
Tebogo, Maria and Merriam Mashiane , the children and wife of Stalin Mashiane.
Tebogo, Maria and Merriam Mashiane , the children and wife of Stalin Mashiane.

A Hammanskraal man who lost his father to cholera has called on the government to provide “fair compensation” to families who lost their loved ones.

Tebogo Mashiane’s father, Stalin, was one of the 28 who lost their lives to cholera in Hammanskraal in 2023.

Mashiane is still angry about what happened and feels that even though they got assistance to bury their loved ones, the government must still compensate the affected families.

"It affected many people deeply because it didn't just take the elderly; it took the young as well. It's painful. "Parents lost young children who had their whole lives ahead of them. I believe the government needs to do more."

Mashiane emphasised that while some compensation was provided for funeral expenses, it fell short of addressing the ongoing suffering of the grieving families.

Click here for more stories on the Hammanskraal cholera outbreak.
Click here for more stories on the Hammanskraal cholera outbreak.

“They need to re-evaluate and provide fair compensation to every affected family. They started a project which obviously cost a lot of money, [the Rooiwal and Magalies package plant] yet they haven’t taken any initiative to follow up with the families. It’s time for them to sit down with us and discuss further support.”

According to Mashiane’s sister Maria, they called an ambulance for their father when he started feeling ill. 

“On the way to the clinic, his BP [blood pressure] rose, and they told us they were now rushing him to the hospital,” she recalled.

“Upon our arrival at the hospital, they administered a drip which momentarily stabilised him, allowing for his return home,” Maria said.

A week later, he was rushed back to hospital and succumbed to cholera a day later.

Stalin Mashiane.
Stalin Mashiane.

Maria’s voice broke as she described the morning they received the call that turned their lives upside down.

“By 4am on the 20th, they told us he had died,” she said.

The aftermath of Stalin’s death has left his wife, Merriam in dire straits.

Just like Merriam, Stalin used to get old age pension grant and the couple combined it to take care of their unemployed children and all the household expenses. They were also using it to renovate their house.

With Stalin gone, everything has now fallen on Merriam’s shoulders.

“I am a pensioner, and my four children are unemployed, though they live in their own shacks. The one I live with doesn’t work either, so we rely on my pension for everything. We were still renovating the house.

“I am the only one with an income, so it’s very hard for me,” the heartbroken widow said.

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