MEC springs hope for blind man

2015-07-30 06:00
Booysen Mgoqi, 38, who is blind, was happy to be visited by Bonginkosi Madikizela, MEC for Human Settlements, on Thursday, at Super-Nkathazo, Nyanga.

PHOTO: 
mBONGISENI mASEKO

Booysen Mgoqi, 38, who is blind, was happy to be visited by Bonginkosi Madikizela, MEC for Human Settlements, on Thursday, at Super-Nkathazo, Nyanga. PHOTO: mBONGISENI mASEKO

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Like the blind man in the scriptures, Booysen Mgoqi’s belief in the kindness of others has been restored after a visit to his shack by Bonginkosi Madikizela, MEC for Human Settlements, on Thursday, at Super-Nkathazo, Nyanga.

Mgoqi, 38, informed Madikizela that he had long “lost hope” that he would one day own a decent house after all his previous pleas had seemingly fallen on deaf ears.

“The leaders here know my plight, but nobody seemed to take me seriously. I have tried in vain to get a house. I have now given up. The local councillor never even visits me here, but he knows about my story.

“I wish to get a decent house so that I will not have to walk a distance at night to the toilet. I am also scared that I will burn to death should a fire start here.

I really need a house, because of my situation. All present and previous councillors have failed to help me,” Mgoqi said.

The toilets are metres away from his one room shack and he has to walk that distance even at night to answer the call of nature.

To prove this point, he said two years ago, he was accosted by thugs who waylaid him as he emerged from the toilet.

The thugs took his cell phone, television set and other belongings.

Mgogi lost his sight in 1991 after “eating poison” in Lady Frere.

“I became very sick and a doctor told me that I ate poison which also drained the water in my eyes,” he added.

He has been staying at the flats next to Nyanga Police Station since 1983 and moved to the area about 15 years ago.

He stays alone in his very neat shack.

“God is with me. I can clean the house myself. I can prepare my bed and other things.

I sometimes ask my girlfriend who stays around the area to come and help me with the things that I cannot do such as washing my clothes,” he said.

Mgogi has even undergone a two year course in aromatherapy.

He has worked for Light and Healing Centre, which is a Non Profit Organisation (NGO) in Plumstead.

He now survives on his disability grant.

Mgogi has a ten year old son who stays with his mother in Crossroads.

Madikizela described Mgoqi’s condition as “pain.”

“This is a pain. There is no care here, because they must know who must be prioritised in the area. Normally I do not give promises, but I am going to take your details and check your status to see if you have never owned a house before. I will come back here.

I also want to check what is causing the lack of development in the entire area,” Madikizela said.

Mondi Maqabaza, of Umanyano Lwabaphulaphuli Initiative, said they learnt about Mgogi’s story after he called on Umhlobo Wenene FM few years ago.

“He called on the radio saying he has a problem. We then came to visit him. He really needs help,” Maqabaza said.

Madikizela did not give a time frame for his next visit in the area.

Councillor Mangali said it was true that he had never visited Mgoqi at his shack, but that he has spoken to him on several occasions to explain the slow pace of development in the area.

“I would priorities him if there was a development in his area.

I am glad that he met with the MEC who is heading the Department of Human Settlements.

I am very aware that he needs a house, but it is very difficult for me to find him one.

He has been staying in the area for about 20 years now.

He thinks we are looking down on him, which is not the case,” Mangali said

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