Ntandazo Nokhamba had been a machine operator at the Lonmin mine for six years before a bullet took his life.
Back at his home village of Ngcolorha in Libode in the Eastern Cape his uncle, Madaka Nokhamba, remembers Ntandazo (36) as a traditional man who respected customs and behaviour. “Every time he came home, the first thing he did was to go to every home in this village and let people know that he was here. He was a disciplined boy who followed in our footsteps.”
Malokwane Nokhamba, the miner’s older brother, said he had “wept bitterly” on the day he had heard that his brother had died. “He was a big part of this village. He loved the youth. Last time he was here he said he would buy the highest-scoring player a pair of soccer boots. That was his last promise to the kids,” said Malokwane.
“He spent three years in Johannesburg looking for work,” said Nophelo Nokhamba, Ntandazo’s sister. “We prayed every day that he would be finally hired. He was the father of this home. Although I’m widowed, he took care of me and my family. He also took care of his elder brother’s family. We have nothing without my brother. It has been very difficult without him, my mother even tried to hang herself after she heard the news. She is distraught.”
Ntandazo was married to Nosakhe Nokhamba and they had five children: Khuselwa, 13, Siziphiwe, 11, Liyabonga, 7, Zozibini, 2 and Elam, 1. – Athandiwe Saba