Monday, 19 January 2020
Qwa-Qwa: The Premier of the Free State, Sisi Ntombela, has learnt with shock and sadness about the unfortunate death of eight (8) year-old Mosa Mbele, in QwaQwa.
Mbele allegedly drowned in a river in the Mandela Park village of Qwaqwa, in the Eastern Free State, whilst attempting to access water for ablution purposes, on 18 January 2020.
Qwaqwa and surrounding areas have been battling with water shortages, which have led to sporadic incidents of unrest in the community. Premier Ntombela has called for calm and assures the affected communities that the Free State Provincial Government (FSPG) will work with Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality and various stakeholders to ensure the restoration of basic services in the Malutia-Phofung area.
Premier Ntombela has further urged the affected communities to not engage in illegal marches and destruction of property, and any form of violence to voice their concerns.
Whilst the exact details surrounding the death of Mbele are still sketchy, Premier Ntombela, requested the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) responsible for Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Mr. Thembeni Nxangisa, to visit the bereaved family, on 19 January 2020, to offer wholehearted condolences on behalf of the FSPG.
He will aim to assure the family and community at large that the little girl’s death shall not be in vain. MEC Nxangisa will be accompanied by the Speaker of the Free State Legislature, Ms. Zanele Sifuba, Executive Mayor of the Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality, Cllr. Malefu Vilakazi, Executive Mayor of the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality, Cllr. Masetjhaba Lakaje, local leaders and councillors.
“I am deeply saddened by the death of little Mosa and we want to assure the family and communities affected by the water shortages that government and various stakeholders will work around the clock to turn the situation around, so that this does not happen again,” said Premier Ntombela.
Premier Ntombela has also made a plea to the community of Qwaqwa to allow the relevant authorities time to ascertain the facts into what led to this unfortunate loss of life.
“While we understand the pain that both the family and community at large are currently going through, we are also pleading with members of the community to allow authorities to conduct the necessary investigations into this incident. I would also like to request that the family be allowed time and space to mourn the death of their daughter,” said Premier Ntombela.
She concluded by saying that government will, after consultation, find ways of assisting the family with preparations for the funeral.
“Let me take this opportunity to once again send heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. The death of a child is emotionally draining on a parent, and I cannot even begin to imagine the anguish that the family is going through. I wish the family and friends strength during this difficult time. May Mosa’s precious soul rest in eternal peace.” concluded Premier Ntombela.
The protests have flared up in some areas and community members have burnt tyres, in protest of water shortages in the area. The Police are in the area and monitoring the situation.
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