Christmas was coming and the Rabothata family was preparing for a quiet festive season under strict lockdown rules. But nothing could prepare them for the wave upon wave of tragedy that was to follow.
Since Christmas Eve, the Rabothatas have lost five family members to the coronavirus.
Ngoakwana (37) from Masakaneng in Zone 1, Seshego outside Polokwane, Limpopo, said they first buried their uncle, Makoba Manamela (60), on 24 December.
Then her older sister Fridah (52) got sick on 28 December.
“We were told she had Covid-19 symptoms. She died and we buried her on 2 January. A few days later, my aunt Betty Maremane (80) also experienced complications,” she said.
She said gogo Betty was taken to hospital, where she was given medication, but her situation got worse and she was taken back to the hospital, where she died. She was buried on 15 January.
Ngoakwana told the publication her mum, gogo Sanah (71) died on the day they buried gogo Betty.
The next day Ngoakwana’s sister, Moshishi Motloutsi, (46) died while quarantined in hospital.
“We buried her and my mum on Tuesday, 19 January. My other sister Shoki Sengwane (42) couldn’t bury our mother as she was in self-isolation,” she said.
“We are emotionally, physically and mentally drained. We no longer have any tears to cry.”
To add salt to their wounds, Ngoakwana said her family was stigmatised. “Some neighbours were afraid to greet us, while others spread rumours about us.”
Neighbour Donald Nyangula (48) said he supported the family during their time of loss.
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