Little Siziphiwe begged her granny to come back and pray, then she died
The families of Siziphiwe and Sisanda, who were crushed to death, remember their last moments with the little girls
The last time Lungiswa Libazi saw her granddaughter Siziphiwe alive, the petite seven-year-old begged her not to leave for work on Monday morning.
“I combed her hair and I gave her some porridge. When I was leaving she begged me to come back because we forgot to pray. I asked her to pray for me.”
The next time Libazi saw her granddaughter, her crumpled body lay dead and covered in blanket next to her 5-year-old neighbour Sisanda Ndlala – both crushed to death by a fallen wall in Asherville.The pair and another child had been playing in the driveway of Libaza’s Kennedy Road home, swinging on a steel gate.
A bricked gatepost in the retaining wall – which had long leaned off kilter – suddenly gave way and crushed the children.
“The last time I saw her in the morning, I told her I was leaving soon and I asked her not to disturb me because I was going to write a test [at work]. I told her to brush her teeth and said I was going to be on my way. I left her waving at the gate,” she said.
“She was such a good girl. She loved to talk so much and she loved going to school,” Libazi lamented.Libazi’s mother, Inga, wept as she recounted how mortuary attendants lifted her daughter’s body from the rubble.
“They were so rough, like pulling her by her arm and throwing her. They didn’t have to do that,” she said.
On Tuesday, city officials and eThekwini Metro fire-fighters inspected the property and driveway in which the girls were killed.A retaining wall on the other side of the driveway was cordoned off as it leaned dangerously at an angle.
Hawa Kuka, Sisanda Ndlala’s aunt, said her brother-in-law was one of the first to rush to the collapse site.
The man, a Muslim, had been in the midst of afternoon prayers when other children who had seen the wall collapse rushed to get him.
“It collapsed on the kids and they came down to fetch her father. He ran there and tried to move the stones but he was too late.”“We called the ambulance but it didn’t come in time. When they got the bricks off her, Sisanda was still breathing,” Kuka said.
Kuka said her niece and Siziphiwe had been friends and had played regularly between each other’s homes.
“She was such a bubbly child and she had just started school in Grade R and that really was her favourite thing in the world. This is very hard for us,” she said.
“I am trying to remember the happy times but the way she died is at the front of my mind.”