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By Luzuko Pongoma andSiphelelesonke Masondo | Oct 06, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

FOR the past 30 years Ellen Cawekazi Jokozela has longed to be reunited with her family.

She has spent the last three wondering what had happened to her children and how she could get back home. After years of working as a domestic worker she had nowhere to go.

She slept rough on the streets, joining hordes of homeless people in Khutsong. Then, in 2005, a Good Samaritan picked her up from the street and took her to the Legae Old Age Home where she has lived since.

But on Sunday her wish was granted.

Jokozela, 69, does not remember the exact year she left Sterkspruit in Eastern Cape, but the tears flowed when she met her daughter Vuyiswa and grandchildren Nondumiso and Bongani Phenduka.

Jokozela said: "Stop crying, it is me, I am here. Your hearts should be filled with joy like mine."

Now that they had been reunited it was time for the family to catch up with each other. But first she got busy packing her clothes.

Vuyiswa said her mother left home after she was allegedly abused by her brother.

"I'm very happy. We thought she was killed during the violence. I never thought of seeing her alive again," she said between sobs.

She said her mother would live with her granddaughter Nondumiso.

Nomhlabakazi Gido, who works at the home, said Jokozela was brought to the centre in 2005.

"She was homeless but when the day to receive her pension was close people would take her in and then kick her out after taking her money," she said

Gido said they had to fend off people after Jokozela moved into the centre.

"People had all sorts of stories, with some claiming she owed them money for wigs though she did not have any," she said.

ANC MP Thandile Babalwa Sunduza helped find Jokozela's family through her constituency work.

She visited the old age home to speak to those living there, among them Jokozela, who told her she wanted to be reunited with her family.

Sunduza, who said reuniting families was part of her oath as a parliamentarian, traced the family in Eastern Cape.

She said she would help the family with the paperwork needed to move Jokozela back home.

"If they are struggling financially I will personally assist them so that Jokozela's trip home is smooth," she said.


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