Mvuyisi Pato sweated on the mines to help give his sister a better life. Every month, he contributed towards his sister’s fees at Fort Hare University in Alice.
The 35-year-old Mvuyisi was born in Mbhobheni village in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape. His death has left his parents at a loss about where they will get the money they need to get their daughter through her second-year studies.
Manqupha Pato, Mvuyise’s mother, said her son had been dedicated to his family, and especially to making sure his younger siblings got the chance of a better education.
“He was caring and not selfish. Even though he was building his own house he made sure that his sister got all the financial support she needed. It is very painful to us that we have lost him … His father is a pensioner and I am in no position to work,” said Manqupha.
She said Mvuyisi and his two older siblings had had a tough childhood as the family was poor. Both he and his brother Vuyisile were forced to look for work on the mines in the North West.
Vuyisile, who also works at Lonmin as a rock drill operator, said he had left Marikana the day before the shootings to visit the family. “The strike wasn’t ending and I told [Mvuyisi] I was going home. He said he was staying behind with the rest of the guys. But he told me to tell our parents not to worry,” Vuyisile recalled. “It was a shock to get a call telling me he had been killed.”
He said will remember his brother for his bravery: “He died for all of us on the mines.” – Thanduxolo Jika