SA woman, 119, may be world's oldest

2013-07-25 22:19

Johannesburg - Having lived through British imperialism, apartheid and the era of democracy led by Nelson Mandela, a 119-year-old South African woman has a claim to be the world's oldest person.

Johanna Mazibuko was born in 1894, according to her identity papers, but over a century later still makes her own bed every morning.

"I'm doing alright," she told The Sowetan during a visit to her house in Klerksdorp.

She is the oldest of 10 siblings, and has outlived five of her own seven children.

"God gave my life in abundance, plus a bonus. I am very old now," she said.

Her son Tseko, himself a ripe 77, who lives with his mother, said that "she is able to move on her own but cannot stand for a long time. She gets dizzy."

Despite her age, Mazibuko cooks and dresses herself, and even does the laundry.

The rest of the day she watches television.

A tattered green ID book gives her date of birth as 11 May 1894. It was issued in 1986.

Home affairs could not immediately confirm the authenticity of Mazibuko's identity documents, of which AFP has seen a copy.

The world's oldest known person, 116-year-old Jiroemon Kimura from Japan, died in June.

Born in 1897, he worked at a post office for 40 years and after his retirement took up farming until he turned 90.

His hometown Kyotango is planning to do research into the reasons for its citizens' longevity.

Besides Kimura 94 other people in his hometown will this year be 100 years old or older.


  • Nico Maponya - 2013-07-25 22:41

    My grandfather lived up to that age but nothing was said about him.He died in 2005 from stroke.I think her children just seeks unnecessary attention,they must leave the granny alone.

      Thabile Table - 2013-07-25 23:06

      Don't be bad sometime we get over joy.:)

      Jacques Otto - 2013-07-25 23:40

      Your grandfather you must be the oldest person using the internet. Come one have you seen home affairs. ID WAS ISSUED EVEN WITHOUT BIRth certificates. WE WENT FROM IMPERIALIST TO APARTHEID TO ANC. NO WAYS GUINESS BOOK WOULD RECOGNISE THIS.

      Sean Bagley - 2013-07-26 00:32

      Some mornings when I wake up I feel a lot older than this woman.

      Jomo Kgomo - 2013-07-26 01:10

      You are jealous if you come forward how do you expect the public to know?

      Nico van der Merwe - 2013-07-26 04:44

      Compared to the rate of Shabir Shaik's dying of his 'terminal illness' he will one day claim this title.

      Leroy Reynolds - 2013-07-26 08:41

      so she had this son of hers at the age of 42? Something is not right, her body would be destroyed having kids at that age I think. It does not mention he is the youngest either, which might indicate that she had kids even after this age? I don't know...maybe

  • GOD4SA - 2013-07-25 22:53

    A Great Gift From God! She can only be a believer

      Thabile Table - 2013-07-25 23:07

      Yes i agree

      Morné Els - 2013-07-25 23:35

      And the previous person in Japan? He most likely want a christian believer. Was that a gift from budha?

      Sean Bagley - 2013-07-26 00:33

      "A Great Gift From God! She can only be a believer" Either that or she is the oldest living LIAR on the planet.

      Chreamz George - 2013-07-26 07:57

      I guess the boy children, massacred on the command of God him/herself during those donkey-days in Egypt were not believers????. They were probably living on FREE WILL.

  • KM Ngwenya - 2013-07-25 22:58

    Over a century. ......amazing.

      Sean Bagley - 2013-07-26 00:34

      Feroz-un-Din Mir from Kashmir claims he's 141 years old being born in 1872.

  • Ntsotiseng Phakedi - 2013-07-25 23:05

    Wow...she is really God fearng person..

      Chreamz George - 2013-07-26 07:58

      Fear of the Unknown, I guess.

  • Antonio Bandarass - 2013-07-25 23:05

    mmmhhh...might be true ,my great-grandma is currently 101.

  • Pule Lawrence Kekana - 2013-07-25 23:07

    wow she is blessed with a long life i wish i can be older than her

  • Sam Jones - 2013-07-25 23:20

    If its true, I would love to meet her. She must have so much to tell. Amazing. God bless you, Ms Mazibuko!

  • Strikeback - 2013-07-25 23:27

    Shame. Lived right throug apartheid, then through Nelson's democracy to end up in Zuma's dictatorship! Luckily she missed communism!

      Jacques Otto - 2013-07-25 23:42

      People actualy believe this. haha

      Ronald Kasasa - 2013-07-26 00:26

      and soon malema

  • The planner - 2013-07-25 23:29

    I remember Johanna, she was a couple of years older than me. We met on a trip to Salisbury, Rhodesia in the early 1930s. What a wonderful person she is...

  • Jeremy Von Pebbles Nurse - 2013-07-25 23:30

    These people are really the saints. I worked with a brain injury survivor at a rehab clinic and adored her simple grace, civility and charm. I can assure you that this age-defying lady carries those qualities. Thumbs up and know when your time comes you'll be 1st in line at st peters gates.

  • Paul Lenix - 2013-07-25 23:40

    It is amazing to reach this age.It is nice to read something else as crime news.

  • Allen Bullard - 2013-07-25 23:47


  • Szymon Arya Przemyslaw Welgus - 2013-07-25 23:57

    DNA testing would confirm her age, I think.

      Sean Bagley - 2013-07-26 00:36

      Or you could cut off her leg and count the rings.

      cokiswa.mhlahlo - 2013-07-26 05:48

      R u doubting her age?

  • Faith Keabetswe Leburu - 2013-07-26 00:31

    Joh magogo, my great grandparents always said to me to live to that age one must respect and honour each and every older person as well as the young and our peers.. Oh and also the fear of GOD is the beginning of all wisdom*

  • Sean Bagley - 2013-07-26 00:32

    Some mornings when I wake up I feel a lot older than this woman.

  • marelize.pinto - 2013-07-26 02:09

    There's a man in India that claims to be 141 years old. With a birth certificate to prove it.

  • Darlington Zemura - 2013-07-26 03:48

    what a long life

      Joseph Martin Mthethwa - 2013-07-26 06:17

      Halala kokwana wa hina

      Doep Briel - 2013-07-26 06:54

      Halala hinyo?

  • Modibedi Mano - 2013-07-26 06:17

    is it a coincidence that the worlds oldest people cum from 3rd world nations?Its a blesing in disguise,poverty realy makes us stronger

  • Wendy Williamson - 2013-07-26 06:25

    If you look at her hands they tell a story, for a women or man she looks maybe 60.? Or she has not done one bit of work in her life. Anyway in those days they were born on the farmlands and they did not know what date or month or year so they guessing and it was certainly not recorded.

      Doep Briel - 2013-07-26 06:55


      Shawn Berry - 2013-07-26 10:34

      It's not her hand on the pic Wendy :-D

  • Jan Brand - 2013-07-26 06:44

    Sorry don't believe this.

  • Matshane Seleko - 2013-07-26 06:48

    Considering what we are told is life expectency in SA and elsewhere,I call this 'living forever'.

  • EJ Moropane - 2013-07-26 07:02

    Hold yo horses editor, it can't be. In those days there was no home affairs and hospitals where reached by few, ul find that this lady was born @ home and never had any identity document until 1986, so when sh went to apply for her I.D she jst guessed the year sh was born. My grandfather I.d say he was born in 1907 dat makes him hundred and sumthn but he stil walks fine like a young man. Those old ppl thy dnt knw wen were thy born thy were jst guessing.

  • Zolisa Dlokovu - 2013-07-26 07:11

    kukho abantu abakuphiweyo ubomi yho.Uphile iminyaka engaka.

  • Zolisa Dlokovu - 2013-07-26 07:12

    kukho abantu abakuphiweyo ubomi yho.Uphile iminyaka engaka. I wonder ithetha ukuthini intsingiselo yalo mthetho : Beka uyihlo nonyoko ukuze yolulwe imihla yakho emhlabeni.Iyandixaka mna ifanele abakwalizw

  • Colin Ashby - 2013-07-26 07:36

    There is a gravestone in edenvale with a lesson that died in at 159 years old. Beat that

      EJ Moropane - 2013-07-26 08:07

      Realy now!

  • Kenneth Maimane - 2013-07-26 07:49

    a 100 year old can hardly stand,i think there is a bit of an exaggeration.

  • Brown Hair - 2013-07-26 08:07

    The lady that cleans my house is younger than me but her id says she is 5 years older. she knows it's wrong but is looking forward to a early pension. Human error is common at home affairs. now and then

  • Ren - 2013-07-26 08:08

    Amazing !! Bless her.

  • Chreamz George - 2013-07-26 08:33

    She has been a Practicing Sangoma for most of her life, how come she's blesses by "your god". Double standard.

  • Nanty Ana - 2013-07-26 09:24

    I guess its true what they say then, black don't crack ya'll

  • Thabo David Selepe - 2013-07-26 09:58

    Long live!

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