Free State military veterans receive houses 'to restore dignity'

2015-12-11 15:13

Bloemfontein – Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Kebby Maphatsoe said on Friday that the department had given houses to military veterans in the Free State as a way of “restoring dignity”.  

Speaking to News24, Maphatsoe said a total of R168 million had been set aside to build houses for veterans in the province and, this month, 21 veterans will enjoy their new homes.   

“It has been a priority from 2013, most veterans live in the streets and some live in shacks so we just wanted to restore their dignity," he said.  

“This is just to recognise the contributions that they have made for the liberation of our people. The freedom we enjoy now is because of them."

Maphatsoe said that, with the Department of Human Settlements, they hope to have built 6 000 houses for veterans by 2017. 

“We will, in addition, on December 15 give awards to those who fought and fell in the line of duty for the freedom we have today.” 

Recipients Meshack Maruping Coedie said he was grateful to have been given a house.  

Coedie, who joined uMkhonto weSizwe in 1959 was the first to receive the keys to his fully furnished home. 

“I am actually honoured because when I was still in the military I was not fighting for a house; I was just serving my country,” he said.

The 70-year-old was an instructor and detachment commander of the underground forces.

He retired in 1998 and has been renting a flat in Bloemfontein.  

“It feels good to own a house and not rent it out and for those who might think that we are being bought for votes, then they are mistaken. The ANC is doing what they promised us.”  

Read more on:    bloemfontein

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