THREE City of Joburg firefighters who died at the Bank of Lisbon building in Joburg were remembered.
As the world commemorated International Firefighters’ Day, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Simphiwe Moropane and Khathutshelo Muedi’s families were given three-bedroomed houses in honour of their fallen loved ones who died in the line of duty.
Their families were also given medals of honour for the roles the firefighters played in the communities they served.
This was during an event hosted at the Olifantsfontein Fire Station in celebration of firefighters.
Jabulile Mokone, Simphiwe’s mum, said: “I’m happy that the Department of Human Settlements and the Collen Mashawane Foundation will give us houses. I am thankful.
“Since he died, I am hurt because he was the breadwinner. His father died when he was two years old. I raised them alone and sent him to school. It’s sad that he died after he just started working to help others.”
She said Simphiwe loved his job so much and it started from when he was just a little boy.
“As a child, he’d be fascinated by the sounds of sirens from ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles.
“When we go to the shops, he would want to get a toy with sirens.”
Jabulile said since the death of her son, very little has been done for her family. She said it is only now that she sees something being done for them.
Jabulile thanked the Collen Mashawana Foundation, which has donated the houses.
Fhulumulani Muedi, widow of the late Kathutshelo Muedi, said she’s happy the firefighters are being honoured, but she didn’t expect that they’d be given houses.
“It’s an honour. I didn’t expect this. I just told myself that he died and life goes on.”
She said it’s been difficult living without her husband and telling their kids about that fateful incident.
“They’re always asking about their dad, and I had to tell them the truth – that their father is not coming back.”
She said throughout this period, she has received support from her husband’s former colleagues who constantly check up on them.