16 January 2014

South Africa: Mothutlung - Where Death Is Delivered Faster Than Service


Lerato Seema died in the early hours of Wednesday, the third fatality since the community of Mothutlung, North West, started protesting for their right to water on Sunday. The community blames the deaths on brutal tactics from the police. The streets are now calm and Audrey Seema, Lerato's mother, tells GREG NICOLSON the story of her son and her pain. Photos by THAPELO LEKGOWA.

Sitting in her living room in Mothutlung, Audrey Seema is breast-feeding her two-year-old daughter Atlegang. The little girl, the youngest of seven children, lies under a black veil. The room is bare except for a few plastic chairs. The couches are piled outside against the fading walls where the neighbourhood kids test the stack for sturdiness.

Audrey recalls Saturday. Her oldest son Lerato, 27, who loved comedy, brought The Hangover 3 for the whole family to watch. Then they watched cartoons and played boardgames. "He was a cheater when playing!" laughs Audrey. Lerato was a born-again Christian and had his own relationship with God. So on Sunday, even though the area had been without water for days, he squeezed every last drop from the tap to bathe before church. He had to be looking fresh. "He...

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