Mpisanes win praises

2014-03-22 00:00

POWER couple Shauwn and S’bu Mpisane were welcomed back into public respectability yesterday by the Durban mayor and the SABC board chairperson at a glittering function in kwaMashu where the couple gave away seven luxury houses.

The Mpisanes sat in gold-coloured wingback chairs while eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo sang their praises saying they had made the council’s job easier by building houses for needy people. “You have brought Zimbali to kwaMashu because these are the type of houses we usually see there.”

Nxumalo said there was a need for other successful black business owners to will follow the couple’s example.

SABC board chairperson Zandile Tshabalala praised the couple’s “good deeds”.

The houses were early Christmas presents for seven of their employees and in a celebration reminiscent of one of Oprah Winfrey’s giveaway shows, workers from different divisions of Zikhulise Cleaning Maintenance and Transport were handed keys to their new homes.

Thanks to the Mpisanes, there is now a place called Zikhulise Villas estate in kwaMashu.

The family homes, a stone’s throw from Phumelela Primary School, each come with an en-suite master bedroom, two extra bedrooms with fitted wardrobes, a kitchen with fitted cupboards and a four-plate stove, a lounge area and a separate bathroom with toilet. Each unit cost around R850 000 and they come complete with air-conditioners and intercom systems.

Yesterday’s function marked Shauwn Mpisane’s first public appearance since the State dropped fraud and corruption charges against her at the Durban Commercial Crime Court in January.

Mpisane was accused of submitting forged documents to secure tenders worth R140 million from the Department of Public Works.

Yesterday the couple were in mourning following the death of S’bu’s brother Sifiso last Saturday and according to their spokesperson Nkosinathi Mthethwa, citing traditional protocols, could not talk to the media. He said they had been unable to postpone the house handovers as the event had been pre-planned.

These circumstances possibly accounted for Shauwn Mpisane opting to wear a somewhat demure jean skirt topped by her company’s black T-shirt instead of one of her hallmark colourful outfits. Her short hair was hidden under a head scarf.

Among the guests packing the see-through marquee hung with glass chandeliers were SABC TV stars, such as Generations stars Sophie Ndaba, Mandla Gaduka and Winnie Modise, The Link presenter Lerato Kganyago and Real Goboza presenters Sinazo Yolwa and Amanda du Pont, plus Muvhango actor Melusi Yeni.

One of the celebs quipped, “This looks better than my house”.

One of the emotional recipients, who works as an administrator, Malindi Mbeko, said there was no need to win the lottery any more. “This is my lottery.”

The single mother of seven girls has never had a house of her own and rented a flat as she did not qualify for a loan to buy a house. She had already bought furniture for her house and will be moving in tomorrow.

She said, “A house was a big surprise for me. This couldn’t have come at a better time because living in town was no longer safe for me and my kids.”

Company driver, Mduduzi Mazibuko, said he was still in shock.

“I’m still asking myself, who I am to deserve this? Now I can raise my two beautiful sons in a home.”

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