‘The family needs to see Sino’s bones, so we can be released from this pain’

I could see my son, Sinoxolo, lying in the hospital bed when he was still alive. I could see him smile when he saw me.

You know, being back at Leratong Hospital, it brought back all those memories.

His spirit must still be there.

I’ve been looking for his grave for almost 14 years now. I loved that boy so much.

When I came back to the hospital in March, they said they couldn’t help me find his medical file. I wanted so badly for them to find Sino’s file, so I can know where he was buried.


It’s such a simple thing for somebody to tell you that they cannot help you, but after so many years of sadness, I was disappointed.

I was angry. That’s why I punched the wall.

The family needs to see his bones, so we can be released from this pain. Sino’s grandmother is getting old now, but she’s still waiting to see him. We’ve been mourning for over 10 years now, and there’s still no answer. – José Malumbu (46) as told to Joan van Dyk. Malumbu’s son died at Leratong Hospital in Krugersdorp as a toddler after being illegally detained at the Lindela Repatriation Centre. 

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Joan van Dyk
Joan Van Dyk
Joan van Dyk graduated with an honours degree in journalism from Stellenbosch University in 2017. She was the top performing student in the class of 2016.
Bhekisisa team
Bhekisisa Team
Health features and news from across Africa by Bhekisisa, the Mail & Guardian's health journalism centre.

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