Special ceremony to collect George victim’s spirit

A special ceremony was held on Wednesday for one of the victims of the George building collapse
SAD JOURNEY: A special ceremony was held on Wednesday for one of the victims of the George building collapse

Ten days after the George building collapse tragedy, the Eastern Cape family of one of the 33 people killed collected the spirit of their loved one on Wednesday morning.

Andile Magxwalisa was among the six people first identified by the Victim Identification Centre and Forensic Pathology Service.

He was one of 81 workers in the building when it collapsed in Victoria Steet on Monday last week.

His family performed a cultural ceremony to collect his spirit from the place where he died.

“We are now collecting your soul from where the incident happened,” a family member said out loud.

“We want you to be at peace. We want you to come with us to your family, where you will be laid to rest next to your family members who have also departed this world.”

This custom of collecting spirits is significant for to many black South Africans.

It is believed that for their loved ones to rest in peace, they must collect their spirit and take it home, where they will be laid to rest.

Four of Magxwalisa’s relatives arrived at 7am on Wednesday with a hearse carrying his coffin.

The coffin remained in the hearse while family members stood outside the vehicle to speak to Magxwalisa’s spirit.

The family then returned to the vehicle and drove off.

They will first go to Thembalethu in George, where Magxwalisa lived, to hold a prayer service with friends and community members who wish to say their final goodbyes.

Afterwards, they will drive to Middledrift for his burial.



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