Officials adopt Aids orphan

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

Prisons officials in Eastern Cape turned the life of 10-year-old Zolani Ngabanyane around when they opened a trust fund for him.

The Queenstown Aids orphan received an early Christmas gift of R4940 from 998 correctional services officials of the Sada Management Area.

And a R54000 trust fund was started on Thursday by the officials, who pledged they would each donate R5 towards it every month.

The trust account will be maintained to finance Zolani's educational needs until he turns 21.

The officials said in a statement they wanted to donate towards the trust fund to ensure that Zolani was afforded the opportunity to study further and pursue a career in music - his love.

The officials also bought Zolani clothes, a school uniform and snacks and toys to enjoy over the festive season.

Zolani, who lives on a grant with his unemployed grandmother, Regina Nonkwanyaza Hlatana, four cousins and two unemployed aunts, caught the attention of the officials when he gave the performance of a seasoned percussionist and drummer during the department's commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism in Queenstown early this month.

Correctional services regional commissioner Nontsikelelo Jolingana said the officials wished to show people that communities did not have to wait on the government to address the challenges of poverty.

"Heeding the call of taking corrections as a social responsibility starts with us," Jolingana said.