In an effort to rebuild the image and restore the trust of the community, Sanco, or the South African National Civil Organisation’s Monwabisi Gantolo branch in Makhaza has refurbished the Gantolo’s house last weekend.
It was allegedly set on fire by a disgruntled family member in 2017.
Sanco members donated building material and assisted the family with fixing the house.
They also helped with painting the house and installing a new roof and doors.
Other community members donated clothing and kitchen appliances.
The branch, previously called Mayibuye, changed its name to the stalwart and ANC and South African Communist Party member.
Gantolo was gunned down by unknown people in 2011 in front of his house coming as he was coming from an ANC meeting.
His wife Phindiwe Gantolo,49, said she couldn’t believe her eyes when first set sight on the refurbished house and expressed gratitude to the Sanco members.
“I am speechless ,.. I didn’t expect this ... I was still thinking about how I was going to fix this, because I don’t have the money.
I am doing odd jobs just to survive. Now, we are cramping in a shack because we didn’t have anywhere else to stay,” said Phindiwe.
She alleged that the house was burnt down by her son after they had an argument about money.
“My son is smoking dagga and tik. The other day he asked me money to buy clothes. I promised to give him, but I couldn’t have the amount of money he wanted because I had to give other children to buy themselves clothes for Christmas. I gave him R300 and he said he was leaving for the Makhaza Centre to check if he could find anything to wear, but he didn’t come back, instead he went to our relatives in Nkanini informal settlement,” she said.
According to her, he only arrived back the following Tuesday, demanding more money for clothes.
“When I asked him where is the money that I gave him before, he said it was none of my business. He demanded money to buy snickers. When I refused he threatened to burn the house,” said Phindiwe.
She went to the police station to report her son, but they allegedly refused to arrest him, saying he had done nothing wrong as yet.
When she came back from police station, he demanded money again and when she told him she didn’t have any, he allegedly smashed all the glass windows.
“I phoned the police. When he saw police van coming he ran away and came back after the police had left and burned the house. He was arrested and released the following day,” said Phindiwe.
“I don’t know what happened to the case. I lost everything in the fire,” she said adding that they were still staying together.
Sanco area area chairperson Matolwandile Walase described Gantolo as an activist who dedicated his life to the betterment of the people.
“Gantolo was a real and disciplined cadre of the ANC. He was a hard worker, always putting the needs of the people first,” said Walase.
He refuted allegations that they were fixing the house because Gantolo was affiliated to their organisation and labelled the allegations as baseless.
“As the new leadership of SANCO in this ward, we took a resolution to build a new image of Sanco where we will ensure that we are working for people regardless of political affiliation. This is our first initiative as a new leadership,” said Walase.
He said the house is renovated by the community. “We went out and asked for donations from the community and they supported us,” said Walase.
Ward councillor Andile Lili applauded Sanco for doing a great job.