Ricochet News

WATCH: Omotoso whistle-blower takes time to feed Port Elizabeth's homeless

By Afikile Lugunya - Feb 6, 2019
WATCH: Omotoso whistle-blower takes time to feed Port Elizabeth's homeless

Local activist and the whistle-blower in the on-going trial of controversial Nigerian televangelist and Senior Pastor of the Jesus Dominion International church, Tim Omotoso, Pamella Maro Mabini on Tuesday brought smiles on the faces of around 70 homeless people and children, who roam around Central, Port Elizabeth.

Mabini is the founder and owner of a non-profit organization called the Maro Foundation. He activism led to the arrest of Omotoso and his co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho.

The trial is still in the Port Elizabeth High Court.

The homeless residents of Central couldn’t believe their eyes when she gathered them around and handed out a loaf of bread, margarine, polony and a litre of drink to each one for lunch just next to the St Georges Park.

Life on the streets on Port Elizabeth not easy

Some of the happy beneficiaries narrated how life on the streets is hard as they even have to be wary of their food and belongings being stolen or fights breaking out.

Speaking to RNEWS, a mother of four children, Asanda Twani, said that she has been living on the streets of Central for 19 years now after she escaped from alleged abuse by her grandmother that started after the death of her mother.

She said that the grandmother used to beat her and accused her of sleeping with her man.

“Bad things happen here. People get raped and killed like its normal and when people ask us about so and so they get heartbroken when they find out that their friends or loved ones have died," Twani said, adding that she felt lucky to be alive after living on the streets for 19 years.

Luckily for Asanda, her children don’t live on the streets with her. She said that they were taken by social workers, and her last born -  a 2-year-old, lives with her boyfriend’s parents.

‘I didn’t want to be a burden’

A mother of three children - including a one-month-old, Angelic Jacob, who has been on the streets for over 10 years, said that she moved out of her home because she didn’t want to be a burden to her siblings after the passing of her mother and father.

She expressed that she has constantly been moving from place to the next over the past 10 years and currently calls an abandoned building in Central home for her and her children.

Angelic said that on most days, they are only guaranteed one meal - an evening meal at a local church. Most of the time, they stand by the shops and beg for food (and nappies and baby formular in her case) from shoppers.

"It’s not nice because people get annoyed at us," she said.

"I get help sometimes, but not all the time and I try not to ask the same person for help because they will get annoyed."

Asked about the whereabouts of the child's father, she could not hold back her tears.

"There’s a sore in my heart because he doesn’t contribute or care about the child and it makes me feel very bad.”

Mabini brought baby formula for her new-born and yoghurt for her 3-year-old.

“I’m grateful to God that there are people like Maro, who come here to help us,” said another homeless woman, 38-year-old Phumla Jacob.

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