MADALA Simon Yokwane depended on oxygen to help him breathe.
Madala’s neighbours in Mangaung phase 3 saw him as a father and always worried about him, making sure he had enough oxygen.
But on Sunday morning, their worst fears came true when they found the 67-year-old dead in his bed, clutching at the tubes coming out of his oxygen tank.
Madala Simon’s neighbours told Daily Sun they believed the tragedy could have been prevented.
They claimed the oxygen supplier delivered an empty tank on Friday.
Neighbour Sofi Bonaza (42) said: “On Friday, another neighbour and I called the company to bring a tank because madala was struggling to breathe on his own.
“They came but the delivery was two weeks late and we believe the tank was empty. Madala struggled to get it refilled.
“When I woke up on Sunday morning, I went to madala’s house and found him dead.”
Sofi said madala Simon lived with two granddaughters, who were both minors.
“His daughter-in-law would often visit but neighbours would also go to see him. We took him on as a father,” she said.
“His breathing problems started in February.”
Thandiwe Tau, another neighbour, claimed the oxygen company had failed madala Simon.
“It was often a struggle for us to get him a full tank. They would take days to respond,” she said.
The company’s spokeswoman Alana Pienaar said: “We wish to convey our condolences to the family. We are very sad about the death.
“We have launched an investigation to find out whether the equipment was faulty.”
Police spokeswoman Sergeant Sinah Mpakane said no case was opened but cops were investigating the matter.