SA Council of Churches visit families of children who drowned in Mamelodi quarry
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Pretoria - The trauma of losing a child is not easy to overcome but the heart and the mind must fight to learn to accept that the child is no more.
This sentiment was expressed yesterday by two Mamelodi families when the South African Council of Churches in Tshwane handed them food parcels to aid them since the deaths of their children earlier this year.
President of the organisation Bishop Jacob Dithipe led a group of faith leaders who visited the grieving parents of Siyabonga Mabila, 7, and Tony Tshweu, 5, who drowned in a quarry.
Visiting the families in Skierlik Mountain View informal settlement, Dithipe said local pastors and member churches have been coming and offering the families spiritual support and guidance since the tragic incident but they wanted to give them something more tangible in the sense of food parcels.
Pretty Mabila said the death of her son Siyabonga was just not sinking in well despite the support of the community but bit by bit their hearts were gradually learning to accept a reality whereby he does not exist to play in front of their house anymore.
She said she hoped that what the council of churches has done for them can be done for other people going through similar trauma because they need all the support they can get.
Anna Morre, Tony's grandmother, said: "We are really trying but this situation is very hard to deal with and our hearts are just struggling. It feels like nothing becomes easier but we hope it all gets better with time.
"Losing the children in that way has been very traumatic and we have not been the same as a family. The wound is still fresh and we hope God grants us the strength to persevere through this stage of our lives. We are grateful to the churches for everything and we wish that God blesses them too."
Dithipe said the religious leaders told the families not to lose hope and to know part of life is losing people, but it was important to remember to keep the faith in God and trust that He knows what is best and could never put people in a situation they could not come out off.
The bishop told the families that unfortunately life was not a smooth journey and human beings always go through difficulty, but when they do, they must remember that God sees them and they just have to be strong and remember that God will never abandon them but take them through.
He said: "We as a body of Christ heard about this from the media and other pastors and thought it was important to come and show support to the families. We also want to show that we are united in serving communities and fighting societal ills and that we are united in supporting the helpless and to give hope to the hopeless."
An independent council set up by MEC for Public Transport, Roads and Infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo is still investigating the deaths of the children and who was to blame.