‘Mandela wouldn’t mind that I’m cashing in’

2013-07-04 07:56

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If former president Nelson Mandela had to see him selling Madiba memorabilia outside the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, he would not mind.

This, according to Godfrey Mooketsi, who travelled all the way from Delareyville in the North West to sell ANC cloths.

“Mandela fought for us to be free, not just ourselves but to be free economically. If he saw me selling this here he wouldn’t mind because this is what he fought for. He would be happy that I’m making this money and am able to empower someone else through employment,” said Mooketsi.

Mooketsi has employed Goodenough Madibeng from Hammanskraal to help him sell his products.

He says he sells this ANC cloths at most ANC gatherings. “Even Zuma has bought from me in Mangaung,” he added.

But this week has been an exceptional one.

Mooketsi has made over R15 000 since last week Friday from all the “tourists” who want “something to remember” Mandela by.

When the inevitable does happen, he said, he would travel to Qunu to sell Mandela cloths to the “tourists”.

“The prices have to go up. Maybe I’ll sell at R200 each (instead of R100),” he said.

This sentiment of rightful trade is shared by others cashing in outside the hospital where Mandela has spent his 26th night.

Gaborone Tlholwe is selling “slankets” (blankets with sleeves) and South African flag blankets for R250.

“It’s winter and the journalists around also need some warmth at night here,” Tlholwe said.

He has also been selling his blankets to journalists in Vilakazi Street, Soweto.

He makes about R5 000 a day.

Collen Nkadimeng (20) said he and his brother saw an opportunity and took it, selling ANC caps, cloths and “I love Madiba” T-shirts. But because of the competition he isn’t making as much as the other merchants – only R900 a day.

“He (Mandela) fought for our freedom and people must have something to remind themselves of that,” said Nkadimeng.

Yesterday was a quiet day for trade as fewer people made their way to the wall of wishes outside the hospital.

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