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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
Van Rooyen suddenly withdraws his interdict

In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.

Let us protect our treasure, Temo

By unknown | Mar 30, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

When I learned late on Monday that I would be accompanying colleague Andrew Molefe to interview 132-year-old Moloko Temo I must confess I was slightly skeptical about the story.

How could a person possibly be that old, I asked myself.

Misgivings aside, we managed to track Temo down to a small village in Dendron, 100km north-west of Limpopo's capital, Polokwane.

Her house was a mission to find - the houses all look the same.

Temo lives with her 78-year-old daughter, Evelyn Mosimane, and her grandson, Benjamin Mothemane.

Imagine our disappointment when, after travelling for six hours, we were told that there could be no interviews without the permission of an advertising agency in Polokwane.

Our grievance was that Sowetan had broken the story but was now expected to ask permission for a follow-up interview.

Victor Thiri, of Rozwika advertising, explained to us that the agency had signed a contract with the family to handle their affairs with regard to the media and advertising opportunities.

I don't have a problem with any of that.

What I would have a problem with is the frail Temo being exploited.

The fact that the family still live in a two-roomed home with no running water, no sewerage system and intermittent electricity doesn't sit well with me.

The house has no ceiling so the rooms are steam-baths because of the 40-degree-plus temperatures outside.

The home has bare concrete floors and the the conditions are appalling.

If the advertising agency is taking care of the family, surely it can provide them with a portable fan or a carpet, just to make life a little more bearable.

There is presently an attempt to get Temo entered into the Guiness Book of Records as the oldest human.

That will obviously open up opportunities for promoting Temo and giving her the recognition she so richly deserves.


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