GMM senior citizens voice their concerns with a march

The elderly from Govan Mbeki Municipality marched to the Evander Magistrate’s Court to submit their memorandum.

Senior citizens of Govan Mbeki Municipality marched to the Evander Magistrate’s Court on 15 June to submit a memorandum on the abuse of the elderly.

Ms Ethel Makhele from Govan Mbeki Golden Oldies said 15 June was declared an international elderly abuse awareness day.

She said the elderly daily experience physical violation of their human rights.

They suffer emotional abuse, are ignored, insulted, blamed, humiliated, isolated, blackmailed, sworn at, treated like children, shouted at and are intimidated.

Ms Makhele added that they are raped and their grandchildren are demanding their grants.

She slammed companies for taking their money without permission, especially air time, while some of the elderly do not even own cell phones.

Ms Ethel Makhele reads from the memorandum before handing it over to Magistrate Betty Lesufi.

,“Young people take our money for expensive hairstyles.

“They also want to force us to live at an old age home, because they do not want to take care of us,” said Ms Makhele.

She added they do not want to be forced to live at an old age home.

The elderly said their abusers are known by the community, but nothing has been done and most are still roaming the streets.

They pleaded with the magistrates that when a case regarding an elderly is on the roll, that there must be an elderly representative to observe that justice is being served.

“Too much noise comes from taverns and it affects the elderly.

“When we apply for RDP houses or stands, we do not get any, but tavern owners are being allocated stands immediately,” said Ms Makhele.

She also slammed loan sharks for targeting the elderly.

The elderly requested an increase in police visibility on pay day and also to be provided chairs while they wait to get their pay.

Ms Makhele closed her speech by requesting Government to assist elderly centres, because some apparently owe the municipality R139 000.

Magistrate Betty Lesufi from Evander Magistrate’s Court said the elderlies’ concerns will not fall on deaf ears and they will ensure that they receive a response from their office.

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Levhuwani Matumba

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