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Tuesday, May 26, 2020
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67 Minutes Mandela Day with the Xu! and Khwe!

The plight of the Xu! And Khwe! Community in Platfontein just outside Kimberley came under the spotlight when Congress of the people (Cope) parliamentary leader Mosiuoa Lekota helped fix and replace window panes as part of Mandela day.

Mosiuoa Lekota giving cup of soup to child. Pic by: Douglas MthukwaneThe deserted community who were removed from the land of the Batlhaping during the land restitution process after the dawn of democracy in 1994 live in dire and backward conditions with several houses’ windows broken.

While many live in government RDP houses the dilapidated state of these homes lays bare the limitation of a proper understanding of provision houses and home ownership.  The area also boasts a community radio station promoting and preserving the local language.

Safe for those who serve the South African National defense force (SANDF), many are unemployed and imbibe on cheap alcohol to drown their sorrows according to a local resident Sanoria Sankara.  “Quarrels and fights regularly break out often about money for liquor and windows are broken, it is more like a culture around here” she explained. 

Mosiuoa Lekota replacing broken windows. Pic by: Douglas MthukwaneLocal Chiefs Oupa Mukua and Mario Mahongo welcomed the initiative of repairing window panes and dishing out of soup and bread by Cope leaders as part of their 67 minutes in remembrance of late Icon Nelson Mandela on Saturday.

“I am particularly pleased that Cope decided to enter the community through me as the legitimate and closest representative of these people” said a beaming Mukua as his subjects ululate and express gratitude in their language.

“Government officials and local authorities always just come here during election time and disappear like thieves during the night”

Lekota explained that although his party has no money, they could raise enough to fix at least 109 homes and donate a soccer Kit. He added that his party will raise funds to dish out food and clothes regularly to the impoverished at least fortnightly.

Chief Makua and Mosiuoa Lekota: Douglas Mthukwane“The story of this community is a sad one; they were used by the apartheid regime as trailblazers against the liberation movement which I and Madiba was part of, now the current government is doing the exactly same by deserting them to perpetual hardship”

“This is a community that was isolated because of their unique language and history and the mistake was not to assimilate them in established communities which explains their current conditions he concluded”

No state sponsored event was arranged for this community as part of the 67 minutes Mandela events, Lekota’s visit was hailed by the chiefs and their subjects as a gesture of goodwill and caring. 

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