Pensioner Dies After Two Months Battle For Payments Outside Parliament


An elderly pensioner simply identified as Kolisile Ngubomvu has died.

Ngubomvu died on Thursday, June 30 after weeks of protests outside parliament over pension payments.

He was part of a group of pensioners from East London who it is believed the government owes pension money and Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) benefits from their previous employment by apartheid-era transport companies.

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The pensioners’ group representative, Michael Matshaya confirmed the death on Monday. “When he left, he died,” Matshaya  said.

The battle for their payment began in April after the group of former railway employees invaded Parliament.

Their woes began during the apartheid regime after they were dismissed for going on strike. They challenged their dismissal at that time and won but were forbidden from reporting to work.

The group leader, Matshaya stated that they believe they are still entitled to their pensions. Hence, the reason why they’ve been battling for their payments.

They intensified their fight after it emerged that many of the Ciskei Transport Corporation employees, who were owed together with them received their payments.

In a bid to get paid, they slept at the Central Methodist Church in Greenmarket Square, Cape Town, for weeks. From where they marched to Parliament for two months in protest.

On a particular day, they were bundled out amid shouting by Parliament police after barricading Parliament entrances. Before their pitiable ejection, the pensioners were seen across the gates on Plein Street, challenging police and Parliament to remove them. They also turned away cars and buses conveying Members of Parliament

At the end of May, the elderly former SA employees retired back to East London after Parliament went on recess. They also decided to rope concerned authorities to court in a bid to get the matter settled.

Kolisile Ngubomvu Showed Symptoms Of Diseases

The deceased, Kolisile Ngubomvu, was in his late 80s and had worked for SA Railways before the transport network metamorphosed to Transnet.

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Ngubomvu was found to have symptoms of tuberculosis and pneumonia at the time of his death.

Ngubomvu’s funeral will hold on July 16.

Meanwhile, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant has said her department was looking into the matter together with the departments of trade and industry and public enterprises.