Abandoned granny back with family
MARIA Maphanga, the old woman who has been sleeping in a toilet for more than four years, has been reunited with her family.
The 76-year-old woman from Kgautswane in Limpopo had been forced to sleep in a toilet and sometimes under a tree in Nyongane Trust near Hazyview, Mpumalanga, after her shack had collapsed.
"I am happy to be home. They fetched me from Egypt. I ate delicious food when I arrived home (at her elder sister Magdalene Maphanga's house in Rietfontein, Kgautswane)," Maphanga said.
She said she was glad her life would change for the better. "I still want a house of my own," she said. Maphanga, who last saw her family about 40 years ago, saw them again for the first time on Friday.
Maphanga's nephew Shadrack Kumako said that they were also happy to have found her. "We have been looking for her. We were saddened when we found out she had been sleeping in a toilet. That is not how a human being should live. We are also saddened by the fact that the leaders in that area did nothing to help her," Kumako said.
Maphanga will stay with Kumako in Burgersfort in Limpopo.
A drama unfolded in the village on Friday when the family arrived to fetch Maphanga.
Ward committee member Lesley Nxumalo refused to let the family take her home. He told the family that Maphanga would get a house. But her family would not budge. "We are not going to leave her here," Kumako said. Nxumalo later said: "We have failed our gogo." After her story was published officials arrived to see Maphanga, who had been moved to a house in the area.
The room was being painted when the Sowetan team arrived. The officials brought her bed, blankets, a comforter and cutlery. Maphanga and her neighbour told Sowetan that local councillors had done nothing to help her.