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Setback for deformed boy

By Riot Hlatshwayo | Jan 04, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A TEENAGER who was born with a severely deformed face and who received a house from a local businessman over a week ago has lost his grandmother, Josephine Mkhonza.

The grandmother who was well into her 60s died after a short illness early last week.

Her funeral took place at Vukuzenzele Trust near Volksrust in Mpumalanga yesterday.

Sipho Mokoena, the businessman who donated a fully furnished house worth more than R600000 to the 19-year-old Simphiwe Mkhonza after seeing the poverty-stricken family's struggle' said he was devastated by the developments.

"It is a very sad story to tell. This granny was a pillar of strength to the boy and was the one who encouraged him to go to school though he was scared of people laughing at his face," Mokoena said shortly after the funeral yesterday.

The young Mkhonza was born with a severely deformed face. Doctors in Cape Town performed a number of operations on him to improve his appearance and enable him to smile.

Mokoena heard about the boy's plight on the IsiSwati SABC radio station, Ligwalagwala FM, and decided to meet him.

Straight out of his pocket Mokoena paid doctors in Cape Town and flew the boy there on various occasions for a number of delicate operations.

Mkhonza confirmed that his granny was the only pillar of strength in his life.

"She meant everything to me and I will not forget her.

"I also give my thanks to Mr Mokoena for the heart he has.

"It is a pity my grandmother did not live to enjoy your donation in the form of a house," Mkhonza told Mokoena.


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