Families affected by the Boksburg gas leak that killed 17 people, told DA officials that they had no financial means to repatriate their relatives’ bodies to their home countries.
On Tuesday, the DA went to visit families of the people that died in the Boksburg gas leak last week at the Angelo informal settlement.
The horrific incident left 17 people, including children, dead and 11 others in hospital.
Its understood that out of the 17, the majority were from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Illegal miners, commonly referred to as zama-zamas, allegedly got their hands on a nitrate oxide gas tank which they intended to use in their illegal mining activities. The poisonous gas was what allegedly killed the community members.
📢 Just in! Today, the DA team, including @SollyMsimanga MPL, @CrezaneBosch MPL, @Ruhanda Ruhan Robinson MPL, visited the families affected by the tragic gas leak in Boksburg. We extend our heartfelt condolences. #OversightInspection #DA_GPL pic.twitter.com/VVxLVQos1X— Solly Msimanga (@SollyMsimanga) July 11, 2023
Patrick Mangayi who lost his wife and three children, said his wife was from Zimbabwe and he doesn’t have money to send her body and that of their children back home.
“The premier came last week but the only thing I got was a food parcel, after that I didn’t get anything .. I can’t bury them, I’m in trouble because I need money ... I need at least R15,000 to send her back home,” he said.
Mangayi said the government offered to bury his family in one grave in Johannesburg, but his wife’s family back in Zimbabwe was against the idea.
“Her culture doesn’t allow it ... Her family has raised some funds, almost R14,000, the R15,000 will add to what we already have,” he said.
Meanwhile, January Chiure, who lost six of her family members said they were given a discount and charged R8,500 instead of R15,000 to repatriate one body to Mozambique.
“Even with that, we still don’t have money. We don’t know what we are going to do, but we are appealing for help from the public so that we can bury these people back at home.
“Even if the government can just give us the bodies in coffins and documents, we will try to organise transport and take them back home,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Community Safety has called for law enforcement agencies to develop specialised units that will help to eliminate illegal mining in the province.