- Families who lost loved ones during the deadly gas leak are asking for help in transporting their bodies back to their countries of origin.
- Sixteen of the dead were from Mozambique and Zimbabwe, while only one was from South Africa.
- Families complained that charges of between R8 and R15,000 had been made for the bodies being taken home.
Desperate bereaved families who lost loved ones in the Angelou slum are being charged between 8,000 and 15,000 rand to transport the bodies of their relatives to Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Families complained about the lack of funds during the visit of DA Gauteng leader Solly Msimanga on Tuesday.
Last week, 17 people died when a gas canister was opened in an informal settlement in Boksburg.
Only one of the dead is Severid Sibbing, 56, of South Africa.
Sipping’s body was brought to his home in Bochum, Limpopo, on Tuesday.
Patrick Mangani has lost four loved ones: his wife, Klesta Ndlovu, 29, son Linmore Ndlovu, 4, son-in-law Sizewe Dube, 20, and Dube’s daughter, Thimpilihel Dube, 3.
They were all from Zimbabwe.
“The haulers we spoke to are asking between R8,000 and R15,000 to move each body. We don’t have the funds to move their bodies. We’re desperate. We’re begging [for] Mangani said.
“On that fateful day, I arrived from work when my wife complained of a pungent stench coming into our cottage. I walked out thinking it came from our neighbours’ rubbish. When I opened the door, a woman fell near our gate. I rushed to her aid.
“I thought she had been attacked. As I crouched near her, trying to talk to her, a man came and fell near her. I turned around and saw my wife fall. [her], there were Lenmore and Thembelihle, who were also on the ground. “They just lay there motionless,” Mangani said.
“I called the Ndlovu relatives staying in our yard to help get them home. That’s all I remember. I woke up in the other part of the squatter settlement where people forced me to drink milk. I collapsed again and woke up in [Tambo Memorial] hospital.”
There he was told that his wife, son, son-in-law and son-in-law had died.
“This gas was deadly. They died instantly after falling to the ground. I am lucky to be alive. Their families in Gwanda, Zimbabwe, are reaching out to me. They are waiting to bury their bodies,” Mangani said.
“I don’t have money. I don’t know where I’m going to get this money to move their bodies. I’m asking our government for help.”
DA Gauteng leader Solly Msimang visited families who lost 17 loved ones in the Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg. They complained of a lack of funds to transport the deceased to Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Only one deceased from South Africa @TeamNews24 pic.twitter.com/FdYt459grM
– ntwaagae seleka (ntwaagae) July 11, 2023
Judith Manesi lost six family members.
Manyisi said she was in dire need of help.
Her family members killed in the tragedy include her son, Samuel Sametu Manisi, 19, and daughter-in-law, Naira Manisi, 20.
Judith Manisi and her son, Jan Manisi, lost six family members during the gas leak last week.
Her other relatives who died were Jeremiah Chivori, 34, Benedetto Chivori, 24, Bonfasi Chivori, 18, and Lazarus Mondlana, 36.
“My mind is gone. I can’t eat and sleep properly. I think too much. I ask myself so many questions and I can’t find an answer. Why me? Why did this happen to me?” Manyisi asked.
“I’ve paid between R8,000 and R15,000 per carcass. I’m unemployed.”
Manyisi said that all of her family members were unemployed.
Msimanga promised that they would step in and help return the 16 bodies.
“We can’t make people lie in mortuaries forever without getting answers. The government has a responsibility to provide indigent burial for those who can’t afford it. We will deal first with their embassies. If we don’t get answers, we will ask [Ekurhuleni] mayor l [discretionary] money to help.
“There may be people complaining about it [the deceased] They are illegal aliens. The fact is that people died in our country. We can’t get rid of it. We need to do what needs to be done. “It’s sad what happened here,” Msimanga said.
“The explanation I received is appalling. We need to help these families find a solution. There is also a need to find counseling. Humanity is missing here. Nobody is interested in counseling families. We are writing to the Mozambican and Zimbabwean embassies to specify their willingness to help.”