Bongani Mdza (28) would have started building his house last week. Instead, he was buried in his home village of Jabavu, near the Eastern Cape town of Matatiele.
His sister, MmaTshepo Letshaba, said Mdza had told her he would soon be taking his month-long leave to begin building his home on the plot he had bought next to her house.
“He asked to be fetched from Matatiele on Friday, August 31,” Letshaba said, adding that he had been very excited at the prospect of having a home of his own.
He was going to move his wife and two-year-old daughter, with whom he lived in a shack in the Nkaneng informal settlement near the mine in Marikana, into the new house once it was built.
Mdza had worked for Lonmin for several years after he had dropped out of school in Grade 9, his sister said. “He helped us a lot, he assisted whenever we needed help.”
Letshaba said that as her husband worked far away from home (as a driver in Mpumalanga), Mdza had helped out whenever her and her family were in need of extra money.
The two of them were very close, she said, as their parents had died when they were still young. She and her brother were raised by her husband’s family.
“Sishiyeke sibabini ngoku (there are only two of us left now),” she said, referring to herself and her brother’s widow whom she regards as her only remaining sibling. – Loyiso Sidimba