A cleansing ceremony took place on Monday at the site of the collapsed Tongaat mall. 
Picture: Janine Moodley
A cleansing ceremony took place on Monday at the site of the collapsed Tongaat mall. Picture: Janine Moodley

Cleansing ceremony at collapsed Tongaat mall site

By Janine Moodley Time of article published Mar 19, 2019

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Durban - A cleansing ceremony at the collapsed Tongaat Mall took place on Monday. 

The ceremony was held by the new owners of the property in a bid to give closure to the families of the two construction workers who died when the mall collapsed in 2013. 

Zakithi Nxumalo, a 28-year-old mother of three and 51-year-old Zwelibanzi Masuku, a single father died on that day.

Masuku's children were orphaned when he was buried under a construction slab buried.  His sister, Theodora Maxhakana, who is said to have waited at the site for four days before Masuku’s body was found, is still taking care of her nieces as they are now her responsibility. 

The family say they unfortunately, still have more questions than answers.

The existing structure will be demolished in a week's time. 

On Monday interfaith leaders, representing various religious organisations had a turn to pray over the property and to "cleanse" the site following the incident.

Following the collapse, the property was sold from property developer Jay Singh to AJ Property Holdings, in partnership with Proproyale Developments.

The NPA is yet to make a decision as to whether Singh would be prosecuted following an inquiry which concluded in 2014. 

Before starting with construction, the new owners thought it was necessary to honour past and respect the people and families whose lives were affected.

The ceremony was attended by more than 60 people and started off with an opening prayer.  
All parties moved to the site where religious leaders led the group in prayers and the performance of symbolic cleansing ceremonies.  The wish was expressed that the curse of death would be converted into a blessing for the benefit of the whole community.

Geoff Pullan, the ward councillor of ward 58 in which the new mall will be situated said that he was excited about the prospects of the Tongaat CBD being rejuvenated. 

The mall is expected to be completely re-built and become home to at least 41 retail stores. 


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