Jackson Lehupa desperately wanted to build a decent home for his wife and eight children.
Joel, his brother, said the man who was buried at his homestead in Bethania, near the Eastern Cape town of Mount Fletcher last weekend, was passionate about improving his family’s circumstances. And that, he believes, is what could have prompted the 48-year-old rock drill operator to join the strike.
“Even now I’m worried because he left behind a house he had just started building with the little money he had,” Joel said. “I really don’t know who is going to finish it. Recently, when we were preparing for the funeral, we had to put a tent on top of those walls with no window and no doors.”
The family remains as he left them – living in a single rondavel and one other room.
“He was trying his level best to build up something for his family but now he is gone,” Joel said.
He said the Lehupas appreciated government support, especially the counselling sessions social workers had had with Jackson’s wife and children.
Although Lonmin had promised to educate the children of mineworkers shot dead by police, Joel said the family had discovered that some of his younger children were not registered as dependants with Lonmin. “They’re there, they’re his,” he said. – Loyiso Sidimba