Tebatso Mulaudzi succumbed to cholera days before embarking an academic milestone

Father, Jacob Mulaudzi, says she would’ve been the first person to work in the family

Herman Moloi & Antonio Muchave Reporter & Photo Journalist
Tebatso Mulaudzi.
Tebatso Mulaudzi.

For three and half years, Tebatso Mulaudzi, had been studying towards an education degree about 660kms away from home in KwaZulu-Natal with the hope that after completion, she could change her family's fortunes.

So, in April 2023, she went back home as she was lucky to get a placement in one of the schools to start practicals before graduating and getting her degree. 

However, sometime in May and just nine days before starting practicals, Mulaudzi, 33, started vomiting and showing severe symptoms cholera. 

She was rushed to Temba Clinic then transferred to Jubilee Hospital. However, she died the following day, becoming one of the 28 people whose lives were claimed by the waterborne disease in May 2023 in Hammanskraal.  She came from a family where no one was working nor had a higher education. 

Her uncle, Jacob, had been eagerly anticipating his niece's graduation only to get news while in town that she had passed away. The anticipated graduation was a milestone that had brought immense pride and joy to the family. She had been studying at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

“No one is working in our family. She would have been the first one to work.  

“We were happy, looking forward to having someone who could support the family,” Jacob explained. 

However, the dream to change the family situation and her uncle’s dream to have a graduate in their family were abruptly cut short by cholera. 

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

Mulaudzi left behind a son who is currently in grade 7 and Jacob said he was pained for him over losing his mother. 

Since Mulaudzi’s death, the family has struggled to trust their water but have no choice but to drink it. 

"We always have tap water, but it’s undrinkable because it's dirty. We didn't trust the water from the tankers either, until our councillor assured us that it was safe," he explained.  

It took them about six months to regain confidence in the water's safety. Jacob also shared his concerns about local infrastructure projects, specifically the upgrades to the Rooiwal wastewater treatment works and the Magalies package plant. This is the plant that will be used while Rooiwal is being upgraded. 

“We hear of these projects and are told we will have clean water by September. We hope it's not just a political game because these promises affect our lives directly."

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.