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Ten months after striker’s murder, still no arrest

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Widow of dead construction worker has given up hope

Photo of striking NUM members
Melikhaya Pisana was killed during a strike at Good Hope Construction in May 2015. Photo: Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik.
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Almost a year after the death of construction worker Melikhaya Pisana during a strike at Good Hope Construction, no arrests have yet been made, and his widow has given up hope that his killer will be found.

GroundUp reported last year that 174 construction workers involved in building schools in the Western Cape went on an unprotected strike for five weeks. Pisana died on 14 May 2015, when violence broke out between the strikers and security guards.

His body was found with a stab wound to his left eye. A knife covered in blood was found next to him, and a murder case was opened.

Ten months later, according to Captain Frederick van Wyk, spokesperson for the Western Cape South African Police Services, there are no new developments in the case, no arrests have been made and the investigation is still ongoing.

Kholiswa Pisana, wife of the deceased, lives in Philippi with her three children. She is unemployed, and the family now depends on child grants.

“My husband was the sole provider,” she says.

“Every time we went to the police station to ask about the case, they told us different stories. One time, they told us that the statements made by the people that were there with my husband were not the same and that was causing the delay.

“I gave up, because I saw we were not getting anywhere. No one is telling the truth, even the union; they are not even following up on it. I am tired of all of this. I am just mourning for my husband,” says Kholiswa.

She believes her husband’s murderer may never be found.

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) regional organiser Benson Ngqentsu says the union has no news of the investigation.

NUM member Sebenzile Waluwalu, who was a shop steward at the plant, says he believes Pisana was killed by the company’s security guards.

Good Hope Construction financial director Ridwaan Rajah said the security guards had been inside the premises at the time and Pisana’s body had been outside.

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TOPICS:  Labour

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