‘We have to strike and burn things, only then do we get water’

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‘We have to strike and burn things, only then do we get water’

Outrage at little girl’s drowning turns QwaQwa’s intermittent protests over water shortages into a weeklong riot

Mfuneko Toyana

Eight-year-old Musa and her older sister Moleboheng trudged down the ravine with buckets and drum bottles to fetch water from a filthy stream because they were thirsty and tired of waiting for trucks meant to deliver emergency water that never showed up.

But Musa never returned, her mother Phindile Mbele recalled, choking back tears. The little girl drowned in the stream, which is thick with sewage, mud and algae, and was probably pulled down by a strong underwater current.

“We rushed down there. She was still under the water ... Two boys from the neighbourhood went in, and one carried her out,” Mbele said. “The house is empty without her. She was such a sweet, quiet child.”..

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