Limpopo mother pleads for disabled son, crippled during school shooting

The mother of Sthembiso Makobe, Rosina Makobe from Ga-Mankotsane village near Lebowakgomo in Limpopo, wants help for her now disabled son, after he was shot in school during an armed robbery in 2018.

As a result of the shooting, Sthembiso is paralysed and was not able to write his matric exams. The bullet is believed to have struck his spinal cord, resulting in him being wheelchair-bound permanently.

Rosina said her son had been battling to deal with the disability and that it breaks her heart that he will never walk again. She related that the Sekhukhune district municipality vowed to help her son with necessary items including an orthopedic bed and a laptop.

But so far, it has failed to fulfil its promise.

Sunday World reached out to Sekhukhune district municipality spokesperson Moloko Moloto for a comment, Moloto said the municipality is engaging with social partners with the hope of resolving the outstanding matter of the comfortable bed that will accommodate his special needs.

“Following this unfortunate incident, his family requested the district municipality to assist with a laptop, a bed that will cater for his special needs, and assist in paying for tuition at a special school,” said Moloto.

“In addition to providing him with a laptop, with the help of a Good Samaritan, the district municipality reached out to the provincial departments of Health and Education respectively,” he said.

Rosina said she hoped to see her son back at school and pursuing his dream of becoming a clinical psychologist. “Life has been really tough for my child. We have consulted several medical practitioners but we can’t seem to get assistance,” said Rosina.

The family is now appealing to the community and donors to help get Sthembiso an educational disability laptop to help him to learn and to type using his fingers. “He was born normal, walking like any other child. Now he can’t hold a pen properly to write. He uses his bent fingers to type on a phone and an ordinary laptop,” explained Rosina.

Sthembiso remains positive but yearns to finish his education.

“Living with a disability has never been an inability to me. I was not born like this, and I have accepted my situation. I can do everything abled-bodied people can do except working and using my hands,” said Sthembiso.

Sthembiso has chosen to make peace with his condition and he said he has forgiven those who nearly destroyed his life. “I have made peace with myself and find it in my heart to forgive those robbers who made me wheelchair-bound.”

A Sthembiso Makobe Trust Fund was established by community leader Andrew Nchabeleng  in a bid to raise funds for the young man. They have since secured a donation of a battery-powered wheelchair from the Tshwane Rehabilitation Centre.

The Trust Fund is appealing to all members of the society to help in buying him a recommended orthopedic bed for the value of R40 000.00.

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