Destitute family looking for a Samaritan

A destitute family in Escourt, KwaZulu-Natal, is appealing to a Good Samaritan to come to their rescue.

A destitute family in Escourt, KwaZulu-Natal, is appealing to a Good Samaritan to come to their rescue.

The Khumalo family, four of whom are female, are aged between 12 and 21 years.

The poverty-stricken family lives in a two-roomed house left by their parents, who died seven years ago.

The house has some windows missing, a leaking roof and cracked walls.

The family relies on hand- outs from a male neighbour, who allegedly harasses them sexually.

The eldest sister, Khanyisile, 19, said they had no choice but to accept the food that the neighbour brings them.

"He normally brings us bread and then insists on spending the night in our house. He touches our private parts while we sleep.

"We have called police on several occasions but they just warn him to leave us alone," she said.

Khanyisile said they were lucky the man had not raped any of them because they had always managed to overpower him.

"We are too terrified and feel unsafe in our own home. People in the neighbourhood know that we stay alone.

"We are just fortunate that no one has actually taken advantage of us. I wish we had an older brother to protect us," said Khanyisile.

She said social workers brought the family food parcels but these did not last very long.

Khanyisile said it was a battle to get female necessities like sanitary pads and cosmetics. She and her sisters do not have the luxury of doing their hair or nails like other females their age.

The three sisters have dropped out of school and have not been able to find jobs. They also cannot apply for government social grants because they do not have identity documents.

"We hope a Good Samaritan comes to our rescue. We need a safe home where we can live without fear of being attacked or taken advantage of. We would also like the opportunity to go back to school," said Khanyisile.

The provincial department of social development has offered to build the family a five-roomed house.

Social development MEC Meshack Hadebe promised to provide the family with food parcels and other necessities.

Hadebe has also promised to help them obtain identity documents so that they can access social grants.