Wed Oct 26 09:45:20 SAST 2016

Home after holiday from hell

By unknown | Oct 29, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

After a gruelling week in a strange city, 86-year-old Agatha Mthethwa is relieved to be safely home.

Mthethwa of Naledi, Soweto, and 200 other pensioners returned to Johannesburg's Park Station in the early hours of yesterday morning after a week-long holiday from hell in Cape Town.

Mthethwa said a trip to historic Robben Island made up for the frustrating holiday.

"I am tired and dejected, but I am happy that I finally got to see where Tata [former president Nelson Mandela] was incarcerated," she said

Mthethwa's dream almost crumbled last Sunday when she and 200 other members of the Senior Citizens Advisory Bureau (Scab) were left abandoned at Cape Town station without food or shelter.

After waiting almost 12 hours at the train station, the group was rescued by the police.

Mthethwa said she was grateful to the Cape Town Disaster and Risk Management authority, who took the pensioners in on their first night in the city.

They were taken the following day to Monwabisi Resort near the city, where they spent the week.

African Musicians Against HIV and Aids paid for their accommodation as well as trips to the harbour and Robben Island.

Scab's chief executive, Patrick Ramano, was arrested in Cape Town for fraud last week after disappearing with the group's money.

The pensioners had each paid R1200 for the holiday, which was meant to cover their transport costs, food, tours around the city and their accommodation.

"We trusted those people and loved them like our own children, but they made fools of us," Mthethwa said.

The despondent granny said she was grateful to have found shelter and food.

"But the place was just not appropriate for people of my age. It was cold and we had to sleep on foam mattresses on the floor because we couldn't sleep on the bunk beds," she said.

The group left the city to return to Johannesburg on Friday evening but were then delayed in De Aar, Northern Cape, for more than seven hours following a power failure.

They eventually arrived in Johannesburg yesterday morning.


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