Early Mandela Day gifts for orphans

WITH Mandela Day being tomorrow, the plight of 18-year-old Xoli Shongwe - a Grade 10 pupil who was turned away from school for not having shoes - changed when Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza bought him a complete school uniform yesterday.

The orphaned boy was no longer attending Ngelande High School "as a direct result of poverty".

Mabuza learnt of Shongwe's plight during a service delivery community meeting at Ekulindeni near Badplaas when he was told Shongwe was "fired from school for not having shoes".

"The premier has started the Mandela Day ahead of anyone by buying school uniforms for the boy and his siblings," said Sello Shai from the premier's office.

Shongwe said: "I will never forget the premier of Mpumalanga . I have not worn new clothes in a very long time, and now I shall go to school so that in the future I could become a premier like him. "