Fighting granny with a big heart

MMAMOLOKO Sannah Motaung, one of the original founders of Soweto, has died.

MMAMOLOKO Sannah Motaung, one of the original founders of Soweto, has died.

Motaung and her husband, Frank Mahamba Motaung, were members of James Mpanza's Sofasonke Party that defied the government and took their followers to a vacant piece of land that was called Shantytown, leading to the birth of Soweto, many years ago.

Motaung, of 1761 Msimango Street, Orlando East, was bornat Lehibidung, Hammanskraal, 98 years ago. She was the eldest of six children born to Jan and Lucy Raphiri. She came to Johannesburg to seek a better life and worked as a domestic in Orange Grove. It was there that she met and married Frank.

The couple settled first in Alexandra and then moved to Prospect. They were relocated to Orlando after Prospect was declared a whites-only area.

Motaung and her husband then embraced the teachings of the Twelve Apostolic Church. She was a staunch member, and was one of the servants who made the church grow and prosper. She never missed a day of service until she was incapacitated by ill-health.

Her home was always full of people who needed advice on their IDs, certificates and other red tape that bedevilled blacks during apartheid. She fed the poor and offered sanctuary to those coming to the City of Gold. She was a community builder who always shared what she had with others.

Motaung is survived by her younger sister Thabitha Maubane, daughter Winnie Mlinganiso, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

She will be buried tomorrow at Doornkop Cemetery after a funeral service that starts at 8am at her home.