Chip­per vic­tim mourned

Pretoria News Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - VIRGILATTE GWANGWA

virgilatte.gwangwa@inl.co.za “IT all hap­pened so fast – one minute he was there and within sec­onds he was gone, with no time to scream for help or any­thing,” ex­plained Mulisa Mabudafhasi, co-worker of the late Mokhithi Moeti .

He told the Pretoria News that Moeti was shred­ding the tree branches into the chip­per ma­chine, but one of the branches got en­tan­gled in his glove and in sec­onds his whole body was shred­ded in the ma­chine along with the branches.

“I was busy fetch­ing more branches to be shred­ded and by the time I no­ticed that his glove was en­tan­gled by the branch it was al­ready too late. The ma­chine is too loud and very fast, so there was no way he could hear me,” Madubafhasi said.

Moeti, 25, from Mamelodi, worked at the Univer­sity of Pretoria’s com­post area and died while on duty on Mon­day. Dur­ing his me­mo­rial ser­vice at the Dutch Re­formed church in Hat­field yes­ter­day, he was de­scribed as a hum­ble, lov­ing and re­spect­ful young man.

He was also said to had been an ac­tive mem­ber of the #Out­sourcingMustFall move­ment.

The work­ers’ shop stew­ard, Jonas Mahlameane, said Moeti was al­ways on time and will­ing to help.

“He was the kind of per­son who lis­tened and did as told… he would even skip his lunch break just to as­sist his co-work­ers,” he said.

Mahlameane said it was sad to see him dead, es­pe­cially with only two weeks left to be made a per­ma­nent em­ployee at the univer­sity.

His dis­heart­ened fam­ily said it was also dif­fi­cult to make peace with the na­ture of his death.

“We know and understand that peo­ple die ev­ery day, but the na­ture of this death is not nor­mal. It is hard to make peace with the fact that we are go­ing to bury dust, it is painful,” said Moeti’s great-grand­fa­ther, Pa­trick Ma­fu­madi.

He said Moeti was the bread­win­ner in the fam­ily as he looked af­ter his grand­mother and two sis­ters.

“This death has lit­er­ally taken food out of the fam­ily’s mouth be­cause there is no more salary com­ing into the fam­ily,” he said.

He added that Tuks man­age­ment needed to im­prove their work­ing con­di­tions for work­ers to en­sure an in­ci­dent like this did not hap­pen again.

Univer­sity stu­dents, Moeti’s col­leagues and var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions at­tended the me­mo­rial ser­vice, but most or­gan­i­sa­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tives ques­tioned the si­lence of the univer­sity in the mat­ter. They vowed to con­tinue the fight in honour of the dead man’s mem­ory. The fam­ily said ow­ing to DNA tests be­ing done, the funeral would be held next Satur­day.

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