Imbali woman ‘disrespected’

2015-10-22 06:00
PHOTO: ian carbutt 

Zama Ngema from Imbali Unit 1 was told to move to the back seats at the city hall during Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address.

PHOTO: ian carbutt Zama Ngema from Imbali Unit 1 was told to move to the back seats at the city hall during Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

THREE weeks after an incident at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall when she refused to give up her seat when Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa came to town,

Zama Ngema­ has a strong message for the country’s youth - “show respect and treat people the way you would want them to treat you”.

Ngema (58), from Imbali Unit 1, an ANC member and ward committee member, who not only helps bring development to her community, she also works with young people, was told by two young boys from the ANC to move from her second-row seat.

“I had to borrow R11 to be there that day.

“The forum was supposed to start at 3.30pm, but it started at about 4.30 pm. I got there early, at about 3pm for a reason, to get the best seat.

“Those two boys had the nerve to say to me, ‘these seats have been reserved for VIPs’. They then told me to ‘move back’.

“Nothing was put there to show that those seats were reserved,” said Ngema.

“If there was a notice there I would not have put up a fight.”

“I cry just thinking about it. Those boys made me feel less important to the ANC, like I was some kind of door mat,” she said.

Ngema has been an ANC activist since primary school.

“I have been a member of the ANC long before them. I was even close to go into exile when my elder brother stopped me because I had a child to take care of.

“For them to make me feel like nobody is really painful and sad,” she said.

Ngema is a single mother of two and lives with her son, who survives on casual work.

Her daughter is in Grade 9 and she has a 10-month-old grandchild.

“I love the ANC. I am a member of the ward committee and I help bring development to this community.

“We are busy on a project to help young people who want to further their studies, but who don’t have the money.”

Ngema said she was paid R300 per month for her work, “which is not enough because I have to find a way to add to this money and pay for my child’s transport as well as feed them”.

She was particularly incensed because “the ANC is nothing without us, but we are being told that we are not VIPs”.

Nevertheless she refused to blame the party for her experience.

“The ANC is not to be blamed for this because to them we are all equal. It’s these children, who have joined the party, that need discipline because I am sure they wanted to save the seats for their friends.”

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said: “We apologise for what happened to Zama Ngema.

“As much as a decision was taken at national level that all ANC members­ and leaders will be treated equally, when we reserve seats people are told before the meeting starts, and we reserve them if there is a need to do so.

“Our members play a very important role in this party and we want to apologise to Ngema for what happened.”

Ngema was unrepentant and insisted­ that she would not give up her seat at future events.

“We have to teach young people that respect goes a long way,” she said

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.