Food parcels given to hundreds of destitute families

Tebogo Tshipi

The mother of a 10-year-old boy who was abducted and mutilated in Polokwane, Limpopo, in 2004, was among hundreds of poor families who received food parcels from members of the Seshego police yesterday.

Salome Chokoe, whose son Sello Chokoe was found with his right ear, private parts and left hand hacked off, said when she saw police vehicles at her yard, she thought the police were coming to tell her that her son's killers had been found.

"Having contact with the police always reminds me of my child," said Salome, of Ga-Komape in Moletjie, outside Polokwane.

"I still believe one day they will come back and tell me that Sello's killers have been arrested."

An unemployed mother, she thanked police for the food parcels.

"Unlike the past years, my family will not have a hungry Christmas," she said.

Chokoe's tragedy touched many South Africans when her son's killers could not be found.

Two of her neighbours were arrested after the incident, but were later released because of insufficient evidence.

Senior Superintendent Mariska Botha, who led the police to the households yesterday, said Choekoe was identified among the hundreds of needy families in the village.

The families each received maize-meal, rice, cooking oil, fish and tinned foodstuff.

Botha said: "He's was a touching story indeed. We felt she deserved to be considered for an opportunity like this."

The exercise formed part of the 16 Days of No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

The campaign kicked off on November 25 and will run until this Sunday.

According to Botha, many cases of women and child abuse are opened daily at the Seshego police station.

"Most of these people are destitute," she said.

"We therefore donated food parcels so that they can also enjoy Christmas without having to worry about food."

Another recipient of the food parcels, Evelyn Nkoana, who stays in a wood shack donated by the Seshego police, was also delighted with the police's gesture.

Nkoana received the house after she was found living in a two-roomed house with seven children. Nkoana, who could not hold back her tears, said she had only mealie meal in the house.

"I was a worried person indeed. I did not know what I would do to please my children this festive season. Thanks to the police for showing their humanity during this difficult time for some of us," she said.