Families struggle to come to terms with loss of loved ones

Hlakaniphani Madlala, Sihle Lutango, Ntando Jiyane and Inam Mnqayi.

Hlakaniphani Madlala, Sihle Lutango, Ntando Jiyane and Inam Mnqayi.

Published Apr 22, 2024


Durban — Families of those who died in Margate during the recent floods say they have no choice but to make peace with their deaths.

Sihle Lutango, Ntando Jiyana and Inam Mnqayi were in a vehicle returning to their homes on the South Coast after watching a soccer match in Durban. It is understood that they drowned when the vehicle was washed away by the flood.

Lutango’s grandmother Nondenile, 68, said the 30-year-old medical doctor was the breadwinner of the family.

Sihle Lutango

Lutango, from Port St Johns, who had relocated to KwaZulu-Natal due to work, was found dead inside his vehicle with his cousin and a friend.

Nondenile Lutango described her grandson as a soccer fanatic who was loving, hard-working and loved to laugh.

“When you are old, you expect to be buried by your children, but now it will be the other way around.

“Sihle was such a sweetheart. He always put his family first and made sure that we were taken care of since he was the breadwinner at home and was in the process of finishing the renovations at our home,” she said.

He will be laid to rest at his home in Port St Johns on May 4. He leaves his grandmother, mother, three siblings and his four-year-old son.

Ntando Jiyane

Anderson Jiyana said his son Ntando, 31, from Bizana in the Eastern Cape, was a staunch Christian.

“He was our first son and we loved him a lot. He was very disciplined, loved God and he respected everyone,” he said.

Jiyana was laid to rest in Bizana on Saturday. He leaves his parents and five siblings.

Inam Mnqayi

Lungakazi Mnqayi said she and her family were still struggling to accept the death of her sister, Inam.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of our sister. Our hearts have not accepted that she is truly no more because she was still very young, only 24, and she was still a student. Even the way that she passed is too sudden for us to comprehend,” she said.

Mnqayi was in her final year in mechanical engineering at the Esayidi TVET College.

“We will miss her greatly because she was a humble and a respectful child at home. It will be hard to accept and continue with life without her, but we will try,” Lungakazi Mnqayi said.

Inam is survived by two children, her parents and four siblings.

She will be buried in Ntabankulu, in the Eastern Cape.

Hlakaniphani Madlala

Meanwhile, Hlakaniphani Madlala, 26, is believed to have died after being struck by lightning in his home in Lamontville.

His mother, Zandile Madlala, said they found him dead in his room.

“We became concerned when we noticed that he had not left his room to prepare for work like he usually did.

“When his brothers went to check, they noticed some smoke coming from underneath the door. When they opened it, they found him lying dead.

“Everything in the room was pitch black. It looked like it had been struck by lightning, while he appeared to have died of smoke inhalation.”

Zandile said her son was the breadwinner and always made sure everyone was looked after well.

“Losing my son in such a terrible way really pains me. I’m hopeful that God will also pull us through this painful period,” she said.

Hlakaniphani will be laid to rest in KwaMachi, Ezingolweni. He leaves his mother and three brothers.

Sunday Tribune