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Home sweet home for freedom fighters

The Mpumalanga government is looking after military veterans who sacrificed so much to fight for their beloved country.Gogo Saida Sibitane and MEC Speedy Mashilo cutting the ribbon during the official handover of a house to the military veteran. (Photo supplied)

Gogo Saida Sibitane (87) is a selfless patriot who fought for South Africa’s freedom in the 1980s. During that time, she was exiled to Zambia and Mozambique – far from her home and family. Today, her efforts have been rewarded with a house of her own.

Sibitane, who lives in Mbangwane near Malalane in the Nkomazi Local Municipality, was given a home by the Mpumalanga Department of Human Settlements to thank her for her service to South Africa.

She recalled how badly she was treated by the apartheid government.

“The apartheid soldiers used to come and destroy all our structures where we camped and I had to endure torture from both soldiers and RENAMO insurgents,” she recalled. 

Sibitane was one of 22 beneficiaries who received new houses from MEC Speedy Mashilo. The handover formed part of the department’s programme of building 87 housing units for military veterans during the current financial year.

“I fought for this country and this is one of the benefits of being a veteran. I would like to thank all those who made sure that I also have become part of the many who got shelter. I can now sleep peacefully without fear of being attacked by thugs,” said Sibitane.

MEC Mashilo thanked the military veterans for their service. A further 14 houses will be given to recipients in Bushbuckridge and Mkhondo Local Municipalities, respectively.

“There is nothing more devastating than living without proper shelter. These men and women are deserving of the homes they are getting. They fought for the country’s freedom,” MEC Mashilo
said.