24th May 2017 4:27:31 AM

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Nkululeko



We help our children with all battles and here Nonkhululeko is pictured with his grandfather, as well as Mitta, Michael and Abegail of Children of Fire.
They were in pursuit of justice at end April 2010, at Legal Aid in Dobsonville, for the little boy's father who was wrongly accused of a crime.
Legal Aid was disappointing.
Nkululeko's tissue expansion of his scalp worked very well though.



Nkululeko Manci and his grandfather Maxwell, in Dobsonville, Soweto, April 30th 2010.

Nkululeko's father suffered injustice in South Africa's legal system and his grandfather sought our help.

The topic will be covered in a charity newsletter.

Nkululeko Manci (9) had two tissue expanders inserted under his scalp in early 2010, at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, formerly known as Johannesburg General Hospital.







In December 2009 we carried out a home visit while delivering Nkululeko Manci safely home to his extended family. His father was detained, awaiting trial for alleged crimes. His mother in a blue headscarf, was strangely indifferent despite not having seen her son for a year... but smiled for the camera. His grandmother Winnie was really really happy to see him again and is clearly the real mother figure in his life.

The little boy handed out gifts and went with Children of Fire’s ambulance assistant Tristan Jones to meet Ixopo Fire Brigade and other key people locally in uMzimkhulu. Everywhere was dirt-poor but the Volvo 4 by 4s and the C-class Mercedes parked outside the Council offices told another story. Many roads were too rough for conventional minibus taxis and so bakkies (small trucks) were used instead with wooden planks hammered inside, for benches.

The ward councillor was extremely helpful, guiding the travellers towards their final destination.

Nkululeko delved proudly into his bags to share toys, blankets, refreshements with his family.

The SAPS agreed to get him to Pietermaritsburg in early January so that he can travel back to Johannesburg with an older burns survivor.











Nkululeko met up with his 11 year old sister again in December 2009 and they compared their English-speaking abilities.

Supper was rice, pilchards and suace. Breakfast was bread, tea and an egg. Mielies were growing in the grandma’s yard, but Nkululeko’s mother had not planted any crops at all.













The car that Israel crashed, rests in the garage at Nkululeko’s grandma’s home. One day maybe it will work again.

The yard was muddy after prolonged rains.

Nkululeko explored his territory and then asked to come home to Children of Fire again. This from a little boy who climbed the fence in alarm at the appearance of the other children, on his first visit to the charity !













Chickens are tethered to bricks in the house but chicks run free, even exploring the ashes of the fireplace. Ornaments and TV have pride of place.











From a formal city bathroom to washing from a tub on the floor in a smoky rondavel was quite a change for Nkululeko.

His sister walked barefoot to buy a loaf of sliced white bread. Brown bread is cheaper but white is preferred.

There is some electricity in the area but it is still great stargazing countryside because there is so little light at night.











Nkululeko Manci was born 11th January 2001 and he was burned at the age of 11 months, when the toddler pulled a pot of hot oil down upon himself. His family is originally from the Eastern Cape but more recently his father and grandfather were living in a squatter camp on the edge of Soweto, Johannesburg.

Nkululeko is due for admission at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital on his ninth birthday on 11th January 2010, for the long-awaited insertion of a tissue expander in his scalp.

Nkululeko's grandfather is a night-shift security guard with a firm that subcontracts to a government hospital.

Nkululeko's father has been accused of an alleged crime which the charity thinks is exaggerated or false. The charity sent legal intern Tristan Jones to help the grandfather meet with the Legal Aid Board in both central Johannesburg and in Dobsonville, as the state had not provided any legal help for the man whose case is being heard in Protea Court. He has not been given the chance to even ask for bail despite being imprisoned awaiting trial for some six weeks at the time of writing. The bail hearing should be on 11th December. It would seem on the scant evidence or rumour that the charges should be dropped.

Nkululelo's grandfather has to pay the transport costs of four witnesses each time to no avail, from his paltry earnings. As squatter camp residents, the grandfather says it is hard to maintain their interest with nothing moving forward - just hours of waiting and then postponement.

Tristan decided to accompany the child to his deep rural home, to be reunited with his mother for Christmas 2009, as there was no safe place for him in Johannesburg while one relative was incarcerated and his grandfather works 12 hour night shifts.

This very low income family with other troubles is typical of the children that the charity tries to help.








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