Family in pain over man still in rubble

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Copy of ST main ORLANDO 0294.JPG Nokuthula Mbatha Mdaniseni Mbanjwa, Khanyisani Malungu and Malusi Malungu visited the Orlando Power Station, hoping to get some news about the body of Ntembiso Malungu. Picture: Jodi van Vuuren

Johannesburg -

One of the four men killed when the Orlando Power Station in Soweto collapsed nearly three weeks ago was due to be buried on Tuesday morning in Umzimkhulu, KwaZulu-Natal.

Sihle Chiliza’s body was recovered nearly two weeks ago in the rubble after being trapped inside for at least two days.

At the time, it is believed he was with his cousin, Ntembiso Malunga, whose body has not yet been recovered.

The two men were last seen a few hours before the incident after telling their families that they worked for a steel company.

On the day of the incident, Malunga had just been in Joburg for two days. This was after Chiliza had asked him to come to Joburg to start on a new job.

On Monday, a group of male relatives spent their day at the power station. Some of the men, who came from Witbank, Mpumalanga, said they were saddened that there had been no progress in the last few days at the power station.

“We’ve abandoned our trip to KZN for Sihle’s burial because we want to know what will happen to Ntembiso’s body. We are worried that he has been in there for days. What if his body has decomposed?

“We are afraid to leave this place. We come here hoping that something will happen soon,” said Malunga’s brother-in-law, Mdaniseni Mbanjwa.

Mbanjwa identified Chiliza’s body at a nearby mortuary after it was removed from the rubble.

“Life has been difficult on our side. We cannot sleep at night, eat or even think straight.

“We don’t know what to think any more. There has been no action in the last few days. We are saddened by this, it is hurting us,” said Mbanjwa.

Chiliza’s brother-in-law and his relatives have spent the past two weeks with Siyabonga Mhlongo’s family.

Mhlongo, 21, is believed to be trapped inside the rubble too.

Siyabonga’s friends informed his mother Sixoli that her only son was at the site when the building collapsed.

“They told me there had been an incident of a collapsed building in Soweto and that my son was inside. His friends seemed frightened when they came to deliver the news. They were okay, without any injuries.

“I am just pained by the fact that my son might be dead in there,” said the emotional woman.

Joburg Emergency Management Service spokeswoman Nana Radebe said they were still waiting for a report from the engineers.

“The building is currently unsafe and unstable for us to go in and try to recover more bodies. We will be on standby once the engineers resume at the site,” said Radebe.

The Star

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