Little Asiphelele Buthelezi took her last breath as she rested her head on George Mtsweni’s sneaker‚ softly crying: “Mama‚ Mama.”
“I had pulled her and another child from under the bricks. Her head was badly injured. She was crying out softly for her mother‚” Mtsweni told Times Select‚ just metres from where the body of the three-year-old lay‚ covered in silver foil.
She was one of three children who died on Monday when the wall of her home‚ a dilapidated building in Doornfontein‚ collapsed onto Davis Street‚ crushing her and two others while they were playing.
“She kept on saying ‘Mama‚ Mama’‚ but yes‚ she is gone‚” said Mtsweni‚ looking at his white sneaker which had spots of blood from the now deceased toddler.
I was near the collapsed wall‚ about two metres away from it‚ playing with my two-year-old nephew‚” said Bongani Sithole.
I saw the wall come down and I dragged my nephew. He was hit by some bricks on his leg but he survived‚” said Sithole who was still visibly shaken by the incident.
“The wall has had a large crack for some time but we didn’t think this would happen‚” he said.
We don’t know what triggered the fall‚” Sithole said.
He said he had heard the children scream as the wall fell on them.
“The sound of the wall… It sounded like a big car crash‚” Sithole said.
The distraught man said he knew all of the victims.
“I don’t know if I can still live here‚” he said.