The Star Late Edition
Public protector’s shoe drive
PUBLIC Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane went on a charity spree on Tuesday;l, handing out much-needed school shoes in the small town of Siyabuswa (Moraka Municipality) in Mpumalanga.
Mkhwebane was flanked by other organisations such as Democracy in Action and the South African Muslim Council.
She handed out a number of pairs of school shoes at the KaBenziwa, Thembeka and Prince SJ primary schools.
The initiative comes after a group of DJs from the area wrote a letter to her office expressing the need for school gear for children in the area.
Mkhwebane visited classes and spoke to some of the children, encouraging them to reach their best abilities. The schoolchildren sang and interacted with the public protector as she told them stories of how she triumphed over poverty and managed to get educated.
“I hope you guys are studying hard and that you are eating at school, you should not worry about things like school fees because we are here to help you,” she said.
Mkhwebane said she was moved to see that some of the children were wearing sandals to school. She invited business people and other organisations to help with donations such as school uniforms to underprivileged schools.
“Education is important and we want to keep children in schools, helping schoolchildren should be the responsibility not just of government but of all those who can help,” said Mkhwebane.
Raheem Nkumane joined the charity brigade as a businessman and devout Muslim who wanted to end Ramadaan by spreading hope to others.
“We are here because this is our second charity drive and we have partnered with the public protector on other projects. We prioritise education as a Muslim organisation. We are also here as members of the community who care about the kids,” said Nkumane.
One of the DJs said he could not sit back and watch the children in the area walk to school without shoes.
“We noticed many things about
our ’hood, but the most disturbing was the children were walking to school with bare feet,” said Golden Sithole.
The public protector’s office said events such as the shoe charity drive enabled it to interact with the community and showed that justice was not out of reach.