Selani family given reason to carry on living

PEOPLE AGAIN: Mmapula Selani holding baby Georgina, with brothers Ngoako and Mabodutji. Pic. Unknown.
PEOPLE AGAIN: Mmapula Selani holding baby Georgina, with brothers Ngoako and Mabodutji. Pic. Unknown.

Glacier Nkhwashu

Glacier Nkhwashu

Sowetan readers have come to the rescue of 12 orphaned Limpopo children after the newspaper told of their plight and of the suicide pact they made.

The story of the Selani siblings, of Pulaneng village, Tzaneen, was headlined "Suicide only solution in hard world of suffering".

It appeared in the October 13 edition of Sowetan and touched the hearts of many readers.

Mmapula Selani, 24, related how she and her brothers and sisters had lived in abject poverty since their parents and sister died. Their ages range between one and 24. The children are all Mmapula's responsibility.

They had no food and received no social grants. Mmapula's appeals to local councillors, social workers and a hospital for help fell on deaf ears.

She then looked to Sowetan for help.

"I am prepared to kill all my brothers and sisters and myself," she said when she spoke to Sowetan, crying.

Attorney Jeph Mathabathe, of Lebowakgomo, gave her R1000 and pleaded with her not to commit suicide, assuring her that her family was not alone in the world.

"The money will buy food while they wait for their grants," said Mathabathe.

Mmapula said she would use the money to buy her siblings school uniforms because the family had received food parcels from social workers after Sowetan's publication of her story.

A spokesman for Greater Tzaneen, Nikiwe Mathebula, thanked Sowetan for alerting the municipality to the family's plight.

She said people were donating food parcels and clothes to the family through the municipality.

"Everything will be fine soon because we're organising grants and a house for them. Thank you, Sowetan," she said.

Sowetan journalist Frank Maponya delivered the money given by Mathabathe at the weekend.

Mmapula could only say: "We are now people. We have visitors because of Sowetan . We can now go out and face the world and continue with our lives because of you."

She said that the day after the article appeared in the newspaper the hospital phoned to tell her that she should collect six cans of baby formula for her late sister's one-year-old child, Georgina.