By Masilo Malakwane
QWAQWA – As mourners described the untimely passing of Kgola Thulo pupil, Mbuyiswa Buthelezi, 14, as a tragic loss that could have been prevented, his friend Njabulo Mahlangu said he had lost a true confidant.
Mbuyiswa Buthelezi, fell from a moving bakkie during a community protest in Beruit last week. He was laid to rest at Bluegumbosch cemetery on Sunday.
Mahlangu who was also Mbuyiswa sitting partner in Kgola Thuto secondary school, couldn’t hold back his tears as he paid tribute to his departed friend.
“He was a true friend who loved me unconditionally. It breaks my heart even more that when the school reopens, I’ll be sitting alone as his chair will be empty” said emotional Mahlangu.
He said he was hoping to complete schooling with him.
Mbuyiswa’s uncle, Peter Buthelezi said his nephew touched many people lives through his extraordinary personality.
“He was a very curious child who was eager to know and learn. We lost a young brave and brilliant son. It will take me years to accept that he is no more,” said Buthelezi.
Residents of Beruit in Phuthaditjhaba inexplicably desisted talking to the media during the funeral service and even efforts to contact their leader failed.
Kgola Thuto secondary school Principal, Bongani Mokoena, said the biggest lesson that should be learnt from Mbuyiswa’s passing during community protests is that it shows that people should not involve children when blockading roads and burning tyres to express their dissatisfaction towards the Municipality’s service delivery issues.
“We would expect our society to do all it can to protect children’s lives. We simply have to accept the fact that the current approach of voicing our frustrations over service delivery by barricading streets with burning tyres is no longer helping, but only places innocent human lives at risk,” Mokoena said.
He pleaded with parents that whenever they wish to demonstrate against poor service delivery, they should prioritise the safety of their children.
“We need to address the extreme anger of taking to streets and destroying our very own infrastructure and burning it if we are to reduce the prospects of further community protests,” he said.