They might not see their daughter’s body

The family of Siphosethu Mqokozo, 30, who died in China last month, is struggling to raise R400 000 so she can be buried at home.

This family from the Vaalbank Village in Zingqaqeni, not far from the town of Queenstown is currently living in a nightmare. The victim’s mother, Funeka Mqokozo (56), says the pain of losing her child has subsided, instead her and her husband have sleepless nights thinking about this large amount they do not have. And the fact that her daughter will be cremated in a foreign country if they do not have this money does not sit well with her.

Mqokozo says that when her daughter went to China in November 2019 to seek greener pastures, it was a bitter pill to swallow.

“I was not happy when she left, I was worried that my child would be alone in another country. I was worried as a parent, and in fact my worry is now actualised. But since we are struggling at home and jobs are scarce, I had no other choice,” said Siphosethu’s mother.

Siphosethu, who was an English teacher in China, died on Thursday, September 22. She spoke to her mother on Wednesday, and she never mentioned being in pain or sick.

Her mother says what she would always complain about is how it was not as fun as it was in the beginning, although she never disclosed what was happening.

“I don’t even want to know what happened to my child, what I want is for her to be home so we can bury her. We want to be able to point where her remains are located and her grave,” said Mqokozo.

She says she heard this news in the afternoon on Thursday, September 23, after receiving a call that Siphosethu had collapsed on the floor and died, and that was all they knew.

“When I spoke to her the previous day, she never said she was in pain, she always said being in that country was no longer enjoyable, saying that there is a lot going on. When I pried, she would deflect and say she wants to come home,” said Mqokozo.

Siphosethu is the fourth out of five children. She went to China in 2019 to teach English. After experiencing trouble finding employment, she jetted to China and subsequently where her life ended.

Her mother says her wishes were to improve her home as they are disadvantaged. Her father, Zwelidumile Mqokozo says he does not have the strength to talk about this because he does not know where to start.

“To give birth to a child whereas you will not even know where her remains are,” he said.

Funeka says that they have R10 000 thus far from the contributions made to the new bank account they set up for assistance.

The Mayor of Emalahleni Municipality visited the Mqokozo home on Sunday to assess the situation and sympathise with the family.

The family says they are still waiting and asked the public for any sorts of assistance. Funeka says what they are afraid of is the body eventually being cremated.

In the same month, Lindokuhle Sixaxeni from Mossel Bay who was also working in China as an English teacher died. Sixaxeni’s body is still in a mortuary in Beijing, his family also needs money to bring him home.