TO DIE a lone pitiful death and have your body discovered only after it started emitting a foul smell which filtered through to the neighbourhood goes against the essence of humanity.
We are a nation that prides itself on being friendly and helpful, guided by our inherent principles of botho or ubuntu.
But yet, we had two elderly people dying under the most inhumane of circumstances.
Mmamojalefa Tshefane, 86,was found dead in her house in Moletsane, Soweto, after her body started decomposing and emitting a foul smell.
Then this past Saturday, Bheki Maloka, 61, died in hospital where he had been rushed by a ward councillor who found him in his shack, sick and without food or care.
Where were their family members? And where were their neighbours to alert social workers or the police to this neglect? Have we become a nation so self-absorbed that we don’t care about what happens around us? And why is the Department of Social Development not being proactive in handling such matters?
It is time for us to start showing compassion to those around us and ensure that the elderly enjoy their right to dignity, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights.