A grieving mother from the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, Noluthando Nxulwa, feels helpless after being denied entry to a depot where her son was burnt to death.
Nxulwa said her son Lihle (17) died in a fire at the Ugu District Municipality’s Mkholombe depot, which is a fresh produce market, on Monday last week.
Nxulwa told The Witness that she has been trying to perform a traditional ritual, of fetching her son’s spirit in the depot, but the security guards don’t want to let her in.
She was speaking on Tuesday when KZN DA leader, Francois Rodgers, visited the depot to assess the damage done by looters to water tankers and the market.
Rodgers and the rest of the DA team were also denied access into the depot.
Nxulwa said, “I heard from the other children who were with Lihle, that they were called by someone into the fresh produce market who said they can take bananas because the market had already been looted, but somehow my son never made it out of that depot alive.”
She added that she has made peace with her son’s death but she would still like to do things by the book when burying him. “I feel so helpless because I have to fetch his spirit before we bury him and we can’t have the funeral without doing this,” she said.
Meanwhile, Rodgers said the party will help the mother with gaining access to the depot so that she can perform her rituals.
“What is happening here is an injustice. A mother wants to bury her child and needs to do something … but she’s being refused entry. We will also take the mother to the police station to open a case since she says she has not opened one or heard from the police. We will find out about the investigation into her son’s death.
“We have also been denied access and we will be challenging this because I am here to establish what the situation is so that I go back to the provincial parliament to ensure that government puts together a plan of action of rebuilding our province,” he said.
Also, Rodgers said he will suggest that the army support the water supply in Ugu by delivering water.
“We will also then have to try and take it up with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to ensure that the damaged infrastructure like water tankers is replaced,” he said.
DA Ugu caucus leader, Leonard Ngcobo, said permission to go into the Mkholombe depot had been received from the Ugu District Municipality.