Durban - As the rains pelted Durban, tragedy unfolded as a mother in desperation to save her week-old baby threw it to a stranger as a wall collapsed on her.
Sizakele Chala died at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital on Tuesday just after she had gone to do a check-up on her child.
Her aunt, Ntombikayise Dube said her niece had left early on Tuesday with her baby Silondile to the hospital. As the storm intensified she went to seek shelter near a wall towards the entrance of the hospital.
Dube who was struggling to talk as she was crying said her 29-year-old niece saw the wall collapsing and in a desperate effort to save the baby’s life threw it to a stranger.
Chala was buried under the rubble. “People rushed to help her and free her from the rubble but she had already died,” Dube said.
She said when the storm was raging they were constantly worried about her and the family had taken it very hard.
In an interview with the Daily News, Muzi Chala, an uncle of Sizakele, said there were no visible serious injuries when they saw her body. “We heard the news through the hospital. They did not have a way of contacting us as her family and they went through her file in hospital and they found her sister Zandile Chala number… Her mother is still in shock and it is very hard for her to speak.” Muzi said.
He said the family had not not begun funeral arrangements but Sizakele would be buried next Saturday at Ezinqolweni on the South Coast.
Zandile said the infant was taken to the X-ray department and was healthy. Zandile described her sister as someone who was quiet and kept to herself. Sizakele leaves her week-old child and a nine-year-old boy.
A delegation of high provincial government officials on Wednesday came to pay their respects to the family. The delegation was led by acting MEC for Cooperative governance and Traditional Affairs Weziwe Thusi, who was accompanied by Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, Human Settlements and Public Works MEC Ravi Pillay and eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.
A food parcel consisting of meat, cooking oil and vegetables was presented to the family to help them in their time of need.