Already burdened with not knowing when her daughter Nokuphila Maphumalo’s body will be brought back from Nigeria, Mayvis Ngele Mkize now has to deal with a summons sent from the school Maphumalo’s son and sister attend.
Maphumalo is among the 85 South Africans who died while attending a rally by self-proclaimed prophet, TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations, in Lagos.
It’s seven weeks since the deaths and the victims’ families still don’t know when the bodies will come home.
“It is a difficult situation being on the mattress mourning. We are unable to do anything until Nokuphila is buried.
“I am pleading with whoever has the power to release the bodies so we can move on with our lives,” said Mkize.
Adding to the mother’s woes is the fact that school fees for Nokuphila’s 16-year-old son, who is in Grade 9, and her 15-year-old sister, who is in Grade 8 have not been paid.
The teenagers attend a private school in Cape Town and owe R112 000 in fees.
“I don’t know how we are going to solve this because my daughter was responsible for their schooling. I am hoping the school will be kind enough to understand the situation.
“Nokuphila’s friend has been very kind to take care of the kids since Nokuphila died,” she said.
“We were looking at bringing them back here (Durban) next year, but they are not keen on the move. I am supposed to be with them, but this delay on the return of the bodies has stopped me from going there,” said Mkize.
Mkize described the death of her daughter as a huge loss because she played a very supportive role in the family.
“She made improvements to the house, she bought us groceries, and gifts at Christmas,” said Mkize.
According to Mkize’s sister, Khanyisile Maphumulo, they were only notified about Nokuphila’s death six days after the building collapsed.
She also said that officials had told them that they would only get two hours to bury her and they were not allowed to look at the body because the coffin would be sealed.
Mkize said TB Joshua officials had visited the family and offered to pay for her funeral expenses and for the children’s education.
President Jacob Zuma this week appointed Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe a special envoy to Nigeria to expedite the repatriation of the bodies of Maphumulo and 84 others.