Thabang Lebese's mom breaks the silence

By Drum Digital
15 March 2013

She lost her soccer star son Thabang Lebese to Aids last year and she’s now determined not to lose another son to the disease

IT’S just a year since Chiefs and Pirates soccer legend Thabang Lebese died, leaving his grieving mother Machaka to end months of national speculation by eventually disclosing his death was caused by Aids. Now Machaka has been dealt another cruel blow: her other son Monde (34) also has HIV. But unlike Thabang, he’s telling the world about it.

“What killed Thabang was silence,” Machaka says from her rundown two-bedroom house in Soweto. “Had he spoken about his illness in time he would have got proper treatment and would still be alive. HIV is not a death sentence.”

But it is a serious disease – and now she has to help her other son deal with it. “It’s very sad,” she says, holding back tears.

“I don’t even have money to buy him nutritious food or vitamins. I cook chicken intestines because that’s all I can afford.

“Thabang was my breadwinner. Now we’re struggling to survive. I do not have food,” she says, looking at the pictures of her dead son that still decorate the TV stand.

Monde, however, is determined to fight HIV with everything he’s got. Like his late brother, he is now working for Show Me Your Number, an organisation that aims to educate young soccer players about the dangers of unprotected sex.

Read more in DRUM – 21 March 2013

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