Mandela house robbery victims get helping hand

06 July 2018 - 13:04
By Naledi Shange
The house that Nelson Mandela once called home in Alexandra. File photo.
Image: Marianne Pretorius The house that Nelson Mandela once called home in Alexandra. File photo.

South Africans are rallying together to raise the spirits of tourists who were robbed at gunpoint during a visit to the home of former president Nelson Mandela in Alexandra‚ Johannesburg.

A mother and her children‚ aged six and 14‚ were among the victims. The other two victims were 14 and 20 years old.

"It breaks my heart‚" Dr Marianne Felix‚ who gives daily yoga classes in the township‚ said of the robbery.

Felix had organised a local driver to take the five tourists on an excursion to Madiba's house on Thursday.

"While they were in there‚ four guys came in. Two of them had guns. They took their cellphones‚ a handbag that had a passport‚ money and a precious ring from one of the girls‚ who had received it from her grandmother‚" she said.

Nothing was taken from the South African driver.

"He quickly got them out of Alex to Bramley‚ where they got help at the Bramley police station‚" said Felix.

Hoping to get assistance in tracing the cellphones taken from the tourists‚ Felix reached out to eBlockwatch community group head Andre Snyman.The stolen phones have not been traced‚ but generous members of the group have kindly offered assistance to the victims.

"Two people have donated phones‚ as well as funds to help get a new passport‚ airtime and data‚" said Snyman. "We’ve got people offering accommodation and meals at restaurants as well."

Snyman said it was great to be able to show the victims that while there are criminals in South Africa‚ the majority of locals were good‚ caring people.

"We like to turn bad stories into positive ones‚" he said.