never again

Elizabeth Phangela & her late brother Christopher Makhoba

Elizabeth Phangela & her late brother Christopher Makhoba

Lying on the floor

Christopher Makhoba was Elizabeth's younger brother. This photograph of him was taken the last time she saw him.

“He smiled at me that day,” she remembers. “I had taken russian and chips which we ate together. He was handsome and he had his new clothes on and I even sang to him because I was so happy. I just wanted to show him the way I felt at that time."

13 years earlier, Christopher was hit by a car and was never the same again. The family found him in hospital. "He would disappear, and we would have to go look for him. He started to have seizures and he had to be on medication."

Christopher needed special care and was moved to Life Esidimeni Waverley where he had been well cared for, for nine years. Elizabeth last saw her brother Christopher, on 16 May 2016 at Life Esidimeni. He was then moved to Precious Angels NGO without the family knowing.

On 15 July 2016, Elizabeth was at her mother's place. They were sitting on the bed when they received a call from Ethel Ncube head of Precious Angels. She told them that Christopher had died. Then came a second call from Ethel asking them if she can go ahead and bury his body.

The family was shocked. Later they discovered that Christopher had actually died on 3 July. When the family eventually located him at the mortuary, his body was lying on the floor.

“Christopher’s death has been so painful because we really don’t know how he died,” says Elizabeth.