South Africa

SA troops donate shoes to needy children in Matatiele School

South Africa: Deployed members of the 4 South African Infantry Battalion under the command of Major Nyiko Maluleka have extended a hand of support by ploughing back to the community of Phamotse Junior Secondary School in Jabulani Location (Matatiele) on 10 March 2023 by donating 94 pairs of shoes to the needy children.

The occasion was blessed by the presence of members from Joint Tactical Headquarters Eastern Cape, Joint Operational Headquarters and representatives from other supporting Arms of Services.

The occasion was opened by Chaplain Jaco Venter with a prayer. The Principal of Phamotse Junior Secondary School, Ms Matseliso Sotsoka, took the stand to welcome SA National Defence Force members and said on behalf of the community of Jabulani they are grateful to have SANDF members in their midst, a helping hand that always avails itself whenever they need help and also wish that SA National Defence Force may continue helping the needy. May God Bless the SA National Defence Force.

Major Nyiko Maluleka, Alpha Company Commander of the 4 South African Infantry Battalion, highlighted the purpose of the day to the audience, being members of the SA National Defence Force, teachers, learners and the community at large. He put emphasis on education, respect, and also listening to the guidance of the parents. He also applauded the students for the guard of the honour done during the arrival of SANDF members.

Lieutenant Colonel Mpho Herbert Mokoena from Joint Operational Headquarters was a Guest Speaker of the day, and in his address, when encouraging the kids, he said that their background must not determine their future, so they must be focussed because very well-known leaders like Tata Mandela, Tata Sobukwe, Tata Steve Biko and others are from the rural areas, but they did not let themselves down but shined. From the students of Phamotse Junior Secondary School, we are expecting leaders of tomorrow who will rise above all odds.

Miss Lelako Mokotjo, a parent to one of the learners, also extend the word of appreciation to the members of the SA National Defence Force for their support, saying that each and every year they receive support from SA National Defence Force members, may God bless thy hand that gives. Miss Nokwanda Mfeketho, the project manager of Khulani (which is the link between the SA National Defence Force and other sponsors in organising projects for the community), thanked the SA National Defence Force members for always being available to help.

After the shoes were handed over, Miss Refiloe Lepeane, a Grade 9 learner at Phamotse Junior Secondary School, got everybody crying during her speech when she was delivering her word of thanks in front of everyone.

Amelia Jones

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