A staunch Highlanders Football Club fan, Melusi Khumalo, is appealing for assistance from well-wishers as he and his family are on the verge of being evicted from their rented home over rentals.
Khumalo, who is wheelchair bound, is seeking help after their rent was hiked to US$600 per month from US$200.
In an interview with CITE at their home at Connaught Avenue and Fort Street, Khumalo explained that they have been staying in the house for the past 15 years.
He said the only breadwinner in their family was his mother, who worked as a nurse, until 2017 when she fell ill and suffered a stroke.
“This house was handed down to us by our sister, who had gone to the United Kingdom. Unfortunately she died there. Right now we are trying to negotiate with our landlord. We have since gotten legal assistance from Mr Ncube. He promised to engage our landlord on our behalf.”
Zibusiso Ncube, of Ncube and Partners confirmed that they are assisting the family and they have since written to the landlord, Shabir Ahmed Moosa Seedat.
Ncube said they are trying to negotiate for the rent to be maintained at US$200.
Khumalo listed to this publication, among Highlanders football club players and management, several people who have come to their rescue for them to survive.
“We have individuals from Word of Life church, which is the church I go to, helping us. Justice Nicholas Mathonsi also assists us, then there is a lady called Iris Nozizwe Mhlanga who donated the wheelchair that I’m using now, her organisation, Nozizwe Mother of Nations Trust, gives us groceries from time to time and we are so grateful,” he said.
“Kudakwashe Mahachi also, before our rentals were converted to United States Dollars, he paid our rent for several months. Highlanders players also come in their personal capacities to assist us.”
He said his 56-year-old mother, Sithokozile Khoza, has not been taking her medication owing to lack of funds.
“Of late she suffers constant headaches because she hasn’t been taking her medication. What makes its worse is this issue of the house. The landlord said if we can’t afford we should be out of here by December 1,” he said.
“If we get evicted, we will literally live on the streets. Also considering my condition it would be difficult to change places to live. The toilet here is tailor made, I can be able to make use of it with ease. If we change places I may endure difficulties.”
Khumalo said his insatiable love for Highlanders was imparted to him by his mother who started taking him to Barbourfields stadium at the age of four.
“Bosso had always been our family team. My mother introduced me to the game of football at a tender age and ever since then I have always religiously followed the team.”
He said at times when the team plays he wheels himself to the stadium.
“I usually ask for random people to help me, especially when I cross the road. They are usually kind to me and for that I’m grateful. At home we have dont have enough people to nurse my ailing mother and to look after me as well. We have three minors living with us who need attention.”
Khumalo said people are welcome to assist them with groceries, electricity tokens, water bills and medication for his mother.
Those who wish to assist him can see him physically at 8B Connaught and Fort Street or can contact him on +263778613449.