never again

Mduduzi Zubane and his brother Thokozane Tso Zubane and their late mother Thembisile Dlamini

Mduduzi Zubane and his brother Thokozane Tso Zubane and their late mother Thembisile Dlamini

Meeting our mother for the first time

Mduduzi lives in Daveyton in a small shack.  He has  a code 14 driver’s license but he has been unemployed for some time. He wishes he could get a passport so he could do long haul trips to Swaziland and earn some money.

The brothers grew up with their father and never really knew their mother. “Our father told us she was sick,” he recalls. When they were teenagers their father organized a taxi after school for them to go and meet their mother, Thembisile Dlamini

“It was very emotional meeting our mother for the first time,” they recall. “Our father introduced us. She was a very friendly person. She liked to talk a lot. She seemed so happy to spend time with us. She bought us some nice clothes.”

But then she disappeared again and their father told them that she went to stay with her sister .

The next thing  they heard was that she was living in Pretoria in a home where she was being cared for. They wanted to visit her but it was very far and they had no money. One day their sister Nonhlanhla called to tell them that their mother had died and she was trying to find her ID book. That’s how the brothers learnt of the death of their mother in the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

The brothers later heard about the arbitration and that families would be compensated for the loss of their loved ones.They had no money to get to Johannesburg. But their uncle said not to worry, he would attend and keep them informed. He never did.

“We have been told that our uncle was awarded the compensation for our mother’s death. We haven’t seen a cent.“