A mother’s shattered heart
Knysna woman experiences triple tragedy as she loses all three sons simultaneously
KNYSNA – It is said that no parent should go through the loss of a child, but a woman from Nekkies experienced this nightmare triple-fold when she awoke last week to the sight of all three of her sons lying lifeless in a room behind their home.
The three boys – Onele (11) and Alwaba (12) Zuzani and Siyabonga (20) Totwana – were all either past or present learners at Thembelitsha Primary School. Onele and Alwaba were in Grade 4 and 6 respectively, while Siyabonga had finished his primary schooling and went on to attend Percy Mdala High School. The three brothers lived with their mother and father at their home in Nekkies.
According to Southern Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Christopher Spies, the three brothers went to sleep in a wooden structure at the back of the main house on the night of Thursday 15 July. “Their mother went to fetch them the next morning (Friday 16 July) when she discovered their bodies on the floor of the room,” Spies said. “Emergency personnel responded to the incident where paramedics later declared the trio dead on scene.”
The exact circumstances surrounding their death are still under investigation, but he did indicate that there were remnants of a small fire in the room.
“Crime scene experts combed the scene for clues when debris of a fire that was made inside a tin container, also known as a gally (bola), was found on the premises,” he said. “Knysna police opened an inquest docket following the discovery of the bodies.” An autopsy to determine the cause of death will be conducted during the course of this week. There was an outpouring of support for the family of the brothers on social media when KPH broke the news of their tragic deaths, with more than 50 comments on the post. One commentator acknowledged the pain the devastated mother of the boys, Vee Totwana, must be going through: “That [is] the most painful horror news to any parent a worst nightmare being a reality, oh my goodness, may God be with this family, sending my condolences to them.”
Another sent their best wishes to the family and the mother. “So sad. RIP boys and may God be with the family especially the mother at this time.”
Ms Totwana was not ready to speak to the press about the tragic incident.
The funeral for the boys will be held in Knysna next Saturday, 31 July.
‘That [is] the most painful horror news to any parent a worst nightmare being a reality...’