Wheels of compassion
A physically and mentally disabled Limpopo woman had reason to smile yesterday when the provincial department of health and social development offered her a wheelchair.
The plight of 62-year-old Matsie Malatji from the dusty village of Mopje near Tzaneen had touched the lives of many people in the province.
Malatji was found by local councillor Masilu Maloko crawling like a baby during a storm last Sunday. She was apparently going to a church that is situated more than 5km from her village.
Pastors and members of the congregation allegedly drove past Malatji on their way to church.
No one felt it in their hearts to offer her a lift because she was dirty and muddy.
Maloko stopped to pick up Malatji and transported her to church. Upon arrival there, he appealed to the congregation to always help Malatji with transport to the church on Sundays.
Maloko, together with the chairman of the Tzaneen Community Development Workers, Strawberry Makgoba, approached the department and explained Malatji's plight. The department offered Malatji a wheelchair.
Though usually quiet, Malatji yesterday rolled on the ground and laughed when the wheelchair was delivered.
Malatji stays in a dilapidated RDP house with her five children. The house's windows and doors are broken. Inside the house, old blankets and clothes were strewn on the floor.
Maloko told Sowetan that Malatji had apparently received confirmation that her application for a disability and child support grants for two of her children had been approved, but that she had not received any money.
Spokesman for the department, Phuti Seloba, promised to look into the matter and said: "People living with disabilities, like Malatji, need love and care like everyone else."