6 orphans now left homeless

Elisha Molefe

A family of six orpans alleges that a local councillor crashed his car into their home and that the office of the mayor of Lichtenburg in North West is snubbing them.

Serame Botshe, a councillor at Sannieshof, a small town outside Lichtenburg, lost control of his car and drove into the house at Itsoseng Township three weeks ago.

The car smashed the walls of the dining room and nearly crushed two sleeping boys.

Sesopo, 7, and Papi Selogilwe, 19, suffered minor injuries when the walls of the room caved in.

The family said the damage would cost them more than R20000 to repair.

After the accident, mayor Elizabeth Lethoko visited the scene and promised the family the council would help with a temporary tent and finance.

But Tsietsi Mokgapi, the manager in the mayor's office, said: "We cannot commit the council to helping the family. The offender's insurance must pay the cost, not us."

Papi said they feared the walls of the house may collapse on them.

"We do not feel safe in the house," said Papi.

The family said they had to cook their meals on a fire outside the house because the electrical meter box was damaged.

Dorcas Selogilwe, the children's aunt, said she was happy when the mayor promised to help them rebuild the house.

"Papi is the one who looks after his younger brothers, sisters and nieces. We grown-ups left the family home to look for jobs after our parents died two years ago," she said.

Botshe said all inquiries about the accident must be directed to another official, Khoza Pelele.

Pelele said the council had already compensated the family.

His statement was refuted by Nnuku Selogilwe, who spoke for the family.

"We never received a cent from those people," Selogilwe said. "What's worse is that the police refuse to open a case against Botshe."

She said she was told to speak to local councillors before a case could be opened. Police have since opened a case of reckless driving against Botshe.

The United Democratic Christian Party's Batsi Mmusi said: "The council must not wait until the walls of that house collapse on the children."