‘I fought for the ANC in exile when I was 14‚ now I am so poor my children cannot live with me’

As over 4‚000 military veterans await long-promised state housing‚ female veterans are among the most desperate for shelter.

Minister of Human Settlements‚ Lindiwe Sisulu‚ was expected to address the veterans

This was revealed at the Military Veterans Housing Dialogue‚ hosted at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg on Wednesday.

Funeka Valentine Mpongose‚ who joined the anti-apartheid struggle at 14‚ took to the stage and begged and pleaded for the government to make good on its promise to provide them with housing.

Mpongose told officials of the plight she faced as a single mother who was still waiting to reap the benefits of her sacrifice.

ANC military veterans in standoff with city after occupying homes in Johannesburg

“We [as female veterans] end up having relationships just so you can have a place to stay‚ a place to hide you head‚” Mpungose said.

“I fought and went into exile at the age of 14‚ my pioneer age. At the age of 45‚ I am destitute. I don’t have a place a stay‚” she said.

She said her children were scattered‚ living away from her. She was concerned about their welfare‚ and whether at times they had to go to bed on empty stomachs.

Mpungose said if the government could not provide houses‚ especially for female veterans‚ then it had failed.

How are our children going to vote for the same government that is not doing anything for us?” she asked.

Attending the conference are hundreds of military veterans from all over the country as well as Deputy Minister of Military Veterans‚ Kebby Maphatsoe.

Minister of Human Settlements‚ Lindiwe Sisulu‚ was expected to address the veterans later.

By Naledi Shange

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