‘My turn to bankroll poor’s stud­ies’


DEPUTY Chief Jus­tice Ray­mond Zondo, who may not have com­pleted his law stud­ies with­out the generous sup­port of an Ix­opo busi­ness­man, says he is pay­ing it for­ward by making it fi­nan­cially pos­si­ble for child­headed house­holds to gain an ed­u­ca­tion.

In one of his first in­ter­views since the story broke re­cently, Jus­tice Zondo told POST last week that sim­i­larly to Suli­man Bux, who had pro­vided his fam­ily with monthly gro­cery vouch­ers, he, too, was striv­ing to make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of oth­ers.

“Since I fin­ished my de­gree, I have been try­ing to do my bit in my own small way. I have been help­ing students with chal­lenges, es­pe­cially from fam­i­lies who don’t have peo­ple work­ing, those that are child-headed, with con­tri­bu­tions. I help with their pay for ed­u­ca­tion. That is an in­vest­ment for a fam­ily be­cause the child can grow up and take care of that fam­ily,” said Zondo.

He said he re­mem­bered Bux, who owned the lo­cal su­per­mar­ket his fam­ily fre­quented, as be­ing a friendly man, who of­ten wore sa­fari suits.

“I used to see him in the shop. He was al­ways vis­i­ble and talk­ing to cus­tomers and walk­ing around,” he re­called.

Back in 1981, Zondo, then aged 20, was in des­per­ate need of a loan to fund his law stud­ies.

He de­cided to ask the owner of the store, Bux, for the money.

“I didn’t know any­one who would give a 20-year-old a loan, but I was thinking of who would have that kind of money and some­how I thought of him and thought, let me just ask him.”

And so one Satur­day morn­ing, with­out telling his mother where he was go­ing, Zondo went out to the store in Ix­opo and asked Bux for the loan.

“I told him my prob­lem, but he didn’t want to give me money. In­stead he gave me vouch­ers (for his store), so that my mother could buy enough to feed my fam­ily once a month. And so I was able to do my stud­ies.”

The story of Zondo, 57, and Bux, 76, came into the spot­light re­cently when Zondo spoke of Bux’s gen­eros­ity in a video that went vi­ral shortly af­ter he was sworn in as deputy chief jus­tice.

He told POST ar­range­ments were in place to meet Bux now that the fast­ing month of Ra­madaan was over.

“We spoke over the phone about two weeks back. I will be very happy to see him again.

“They sent me a photo of him and I was happy to see he looked quite healthy.”

He said Bux had played an im­por­tant role in his life.

“I don’t know whether I’d have been able to go to univer­sity at that time if not for him. His gen­eros­ity made it pos­si­ble.”

Zondo re­called Bux as be­ing a hum­ble man: “There is no doubt he helped me be­cause he saw me as a de­serv­ing case.”

Deputy Chief Jus­tice of the Con­sti­tu­tional Court Ray­mond Zondo.

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