In the small Transkei village of Nquba in the Ngqeleni district, Mphangeli Thukuza had a big reputation: he was a respected Pondo man with two wives and six children who live in a beautiful home.
Local men spoke of the 42-year-old Mphangeli’s charm and said he had earned respect because he was able to provide for his large family. He had also apparently been saving to buy himself a car.
His three brothers also spoke highly of him. “He was a good man and worked hard for his family. Those two wives, whom he loved dearly, are really hurting now,” said Jamela Thukuza, his brother. “He did everything for them with his own money and all that is gone. It is painful because we have lost a brother and our father has lost a son. We fear that his death might bring poverty to his house.”
Thukuza’s brothers are also migrant workers who work at different mines in North West. They demand that one of their relatives continue their brother’s legacy by taking his job as an operator at Lonmin. – Thanduxolo Jika