JOHANNESBURG – St Paul Apostolic Church’s Bishop, David Ramela, has donated two truckloads of foodstuffs valued over M1 million to be distributed to the elderly in Lesotho. The initiative’s organiser, Palo Mokoailane, told Public Eye the donation was in the main meant to assist struggling Basotho senior citizens and their households. He also said it was part the Royal birthday celebrations of King Letsie III and his spouse Queen ’Masenate Mohato Seeiso.
The Queen’s birthday was on June 2 while that of the King will be on July 17. Mokoailane said unlike in the past when the King would receive gifts, this time he would donate food parcels to the elderly who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Bishop Ramela has always been donating to communities in South Africa and Lesotho. He believes he is what he is because of Lesotho.
“On July 31 we will be donating 2 400 food items in Lesotho. A total of 100 elderly people under each chief will receive food parcels in 24 villages. We loaded two trucks with two trailers this week destined for Lesotho,” said Mokoailane. He said the donation will be distributed in different parts of the country, where responsible chiefs have identified vulnerable elderly citizens in their community. Among the items which were loaded for the initiative were sugar, soya mince, salt, samp, rice, mealie-meal, cooking oil and beans, among several other foodstuffs.
Every year Ramela donates to Basotho, a gesture which he has labeled his ‘Thanksgiving’. This year’s edition of the annual event was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant national lockdown. Ramela’s mother was born in Lesotho and he went to school in Leribe after the 1976 Soweto uprising. Mokoailane said during the lockdown many Basotho resident in South Africa failed to qualify for the food parcels and grants given by the South African government because they did not have legal residence documents.
He said many reached out to Bishop Ramela, who distributed food parcels to most Basotho communities in South Africa as well as other foreign nationals resident in the republic. He managed to reach over 2 000 people in various parts of the country. Mokoailane also revealed that during the lockdown Ramela also donated foodstuffs to old and struggling actors in South Africa who used to feature in some soap operas on SABC channels. He also donated to some journalists.