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JOHANNESBURG — Despite the negative news cycle that South Africans have become used to over recent years, there are rays of hope. One such ray of hope is the story about Orange Farm’s Olivia Mokete. Olivia was on her way to Luthuli House in downtown Johannesburg to petition for water and electricity in her area. Unfortunately, she found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time as Black First Land First (BLF) were also marching to Luthuli House to call for then-President Jacob Zuma to remain in office. After jumping out of a vehicle, she then found herself being assaulted by an ANC member, in full view of the media. It was a shocking story and sparked massive outrage, forcing the ANC to apologise and take action. Since then, Olivia has received much assistance from a member of the public in improving her living conditions. Here is the full story. – Gareth van Zyl
A viral video of an elderly lady, beaten down in the streets of Johannesburg by an ANC supporter on the 5 February 2018 sparked outrage on social media.
Olivia Mokete (55) from Orange Farm, was on her way to petition the council for water and electricity in her region and found herself in the middle of a violent protest outside Luthuli House, when her lift stopped at the traffic light.
Without reason, the angry protestors approached the vehicle swinging sharp objects, while some of individuals managed to escape the situation without harm, Olivia was dragged off the bakkie and beaten to the ground by a man now identified as Thabiso Setona.
Dianne Bayley (55) from Bryanston, Johannesburg, was outraged and saddened by the disturbing footage and made it her mission to find Olivia and restore some faith in humanity.
“I saw the video footage on Twitter and was appalled that the huge man could beat a woman – and a very small woman at that – in the street while other men and policemen looked on” – says Dianne.
When Dianne came across the photo of Olivia standing in front of her humble tin shack, she was inspired to set up a BackaBuddy crowdfunding campaign to build Olivia a Wendy house to keep her warmer in the winter.
“When I saw the picture of her standing outside her tin shack in Orange Farm, my heart broke. Not only had Olivia experienced a terrible order and was in pain, she went home to a shack that doesn’t even have a bed in it. She had several pieces of corrugated iron cobbled together to form a shelter. No actual door; no window; no floor. I couldn’t stand up in it” – says Dianne.
The crowdfunding campaign went live on the 12 of February 2018 and surpassed the fundraising target of R10 000, raising R 10 829.60 with the help of 16 kind strangers, friends and family. With the funds raised, Dianne approached a local small business owner, Brighton Mohale from ValueWendys, to build the 3m x 4m Wendy house. Build A Cupboard, a start-up business in Alberton, generously offered a customized cupboard, kitchen counter and seat with storage that will arrive this week.
With the remaining funds, Dianne purchased toiletries and non-perishable goods with the remaining funds for Olivia and her husband.
“I decided not to be one of the many who wait for ‘someone’ to do something. I am ‘someone’ – and I can make a difference. With the support of BackaBuddy and the Good Things Guy (blog), people donated from all over the world to help Olivia,” she says.
Dianne describes a festive affair when delivering Olivia’s new home on Saturday, 24 February 2018. Olivia’s daughter, neighbors and community leaders lent a hand and were there in support.
“Both Olivia and her husband were amazed and thrilled when we arrived in a convoy of four vehicles. After a few hours, the Wendy house was up and she could move from the 2m x 2m tin shack into a room with a window and a door. Such small things that we take for granted,” Dianne says, adding, “I haven’t felt this happy in a long time. Thanks to all those who assisted – giving truly is the real gift!” – says Dianne
“The kindness Olivia experienced after her ordeal showcases our ability as South Africans to positively impact those around us. We can all make a difference.” – Zane Groenewald – BackaBuddy
Olivia has received her new home, but her campaign is still accepting donations should someone want to contribute: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/c
- Backabuddy is a proudly South African crowdfunding platform where individuals have the opportunity to raise funds for causes they feel passionate about.