At last, cash found for girl’s op

2010-07-03 00:00

THIS time there were no empty promises and no false starts. Operation Jumpstart, which manages the funds left over from the old KZN Lotto, has paid a string of outstanding medical bills for Londiwe Mdunge after an operation on her damaged parotid glands.

Chairperson of the board Bongani Khumalo read about Londiwe’s plight in The Witness, which said first lady Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma had allegedly reneged on a promise to pay the bills.

School teacher Thokozani Zuma had the creditors knocking at her door demanding more than R30 000 as she had stood as guardian to enable Londiwe to have the operation.

Khumalo says he met Zuma after reading the article . “I said I was not promising anything, that I would have to take the matter to the board. I could see she was sceptical and did not believe me.”

After a flurry of e-mails among board members, a decision was reached to help Londiwe.

Zuma says she only began to believe that this time the offer was genuine when she received a call from a staff member at the Operation Jumpstart office.

Yesterday Khumalo visited Londiwe’s family at their home in the informal settlement of Tembelihle in Eastwood. Her aunt, Ncamisile Dladla, wept with joy at the good news.

Dladla looks after seven children, four of her late sister’s and three of her own. Londiwe and her younger sister are both sick.

Khumalo says the funds will include treatment for the baby sister as well.

Dladla said that sometimes the situation becomes too much and she does not know which way to turn.

Zuma is ecstatic after being sick with worry over the threats from lawyers and debt collectors. She says her faith in humanity has been restored. She thanked The Witness for telling Londiwe’s story.

An overwhelmed Londiwe managed to say she was happy before burying her head in her teacher’s arms.




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