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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Joy, anxiety as twins' lives set for change

By Canaan Mdletshe | Jul 23, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

There were tears of joy and a bit of heartache at Durban's St Aiden's Hospital's female plastic surgery ward when the twins born with deformed feet and hands were separated from their mother for the first time.

Bongiwe and Bongekile Mthembu, both 15, of Ohlalwini area in Jozini, northern Zululand, were born with deformed feet and hands as each has seven toes and six fingers.

After weeks of waiting, their dream was finally realised yesterday when they were admitted at St Aiden's Hospital where they will undergo an operation.

"I am happy that we are here for the operation because we will now be able to wear shoes for the first time in our lives," said Bongekile.

Her twin sister was, however, heartbroken that her mother, Hlaleleni Mpontshane was going to leave them "for the first time".

She wept as the nurses were taking them through the procedures, including changing their clothes into hospital gear.

"I am happy, but I don't want my mother to leave us here," she said shyly.

Their mother, though, was overjoyed.

"I am excited that finally this is going to be over. My children will now live a normal life and be able to wear shoes," said Mpontshane.

"I thank God for touching the hearts of the many people who shared our problem and made it theirs.

"I would also like to thank Sowetan for letting the public know about the problem because if it was not for them, I would still be sitting at home with them not knowing where to go for help," said Mpontshane.

The Grade 8 pupils have never worn shoes because of their condition.

Sowetan highlighted their plight last month after they pleaded for help.

The twins have been a laughing stock in the community .

KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize, a medical doctor by profession, responded to the article by directing the provincial department of health to operate the twins for free.


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