Open Letters to the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Jacob G. Zuma

After multiple failed attempts were made to make contact the President of South Africa via his official Twitter account, The following letters were sent to his office. For the purpose of openness we are making these letters available on our blog. We hope and pray that the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Jacob G. Zuma responds to our please for help.

We will follow up with any news on this blog as soon as we get it.

Letter 1.

Dear President Zuma,

I write to you requesting for your help and intervention.

My name is Moses Mlombo I am 25 years old, I come from a rural village called Pienaar kaMsogwaba it is situated from about 18 kilo meters away from Nelspruit. On the 17th of June 2006 I was a victim of a robbery were I was shot on my neck and I was left paralysed from my neck down which makes me a quadraplegic now. I was still doing my matric when that tragic gun shot accident happened to me and I could,nt finish my matric because of the long stay in hospital and the unavailabilty of training and rehabilitation facilities here in Mpumalanga province.

Ama Wheelies is the first ever self help centre in Mpumalanga designed to provide 24 hour physical assistance on a permanent basis to people with spinal cord injuries,mainly quadraplegics and paraplegics. By providing these services, Ama Wheelies create a platform to people like me and Barry and all the Ama Wheelies members to continue living our lives as normal and independently as possible without relying too much on family and friends. Apart from the 24 hour physical assistance provided,the residents at Ama Wheelies are normal everyday people. We only do things a little different.

Quadraplegics are paralysed from the neck down.This condition affects all limbs and sensation accross the body. Depending on the various levels, higher or lower, and places of the injury or fracture of the spine,we got no use or partial use of our limbs.

Paraplegics mainly experience loss of function and sensation below the waist as a result of a very low fracture of the spinal cord. Apart from this,the upper body,arms and hands continue to function normally.

These disabilities along with many other are caused through

  1. Car accidents
  2. Pedestrian accidents
  3. Motorcycle accidents
  4. Diving accidents(neck injury when diving in shallow water)
  5. Sports accidents(rugby injury,motor sports etc)
  6. Gun shot accidents or malicious muggings or attacks

 These are some of the causes of physical disability,but it also occurs through illnesses,diseases or paralysing conditions.

People with spinal cord injuries need 24 hour physical assistance with ,bathing and dressing,preparing meals and sometimes feeding,emptying urine bags and bowel management,daily tasks around the office or house and getting ready for bed.

Quadraplegics need

  • Battery operated wheelchairs
  • Specially adapted vehicles
  • Lifting equipment for in and out of bed
  • Computers to work on
  • Assistive devices such as typing sticks and splints

Paraplegics need

  • Manual wheelchair dependent on upper body strength
  • Hand controls fitted to vehicle
  • Grab rails in bathrooms etc,to support them with transfers

Ama Wheelies was founded in 2007 and it was established on 27 November 2010 here at Lydenburg in Mpumalanga province.Ama Wheelies has accomplished a communication training to 9 quadraplegics and paraplegics in the province throught our ICT training programme to persons with disabilities with the assistance of Nokia sponsoring touch screen handset.But unfortunately all this critical important development of people with disabilities can,t go on without financial assistance hence we desperately need the intervention of government and private sector. here in Mpumalanga.We have applied for funding from the department of social development as a registered NPO and we have been approved by the social workers to be funded but the provincial office has cut funding which further paralyses Ama Wheelies members a chance to be developed and empowered.We have applied for fundind from Xstrata and Samancor mines which are very close to our location but we also having adversities with them.They all recognize the critical importance of Ama Wheelies to many people with disabilities here in Mpumalanga but theres no one who has assisted the organisation to move forward with its critical important developmental objectives to quadriplegics and paraplegics here in the province.

Ama Wheelies also has ambitions of farming and develop farming skills to persons with disabilities,we have been in meetings with the department of rural development and land reform to assist Ama Wheelies with leasing a farm where we can pilot our farming project that aims to empower us persons with disabilities who desire to be farmers in farming skills unfortunately we only experiencing adversities with that department aswel since 2007.Mr President we see no development and empower of persons with disabilities here in Mpumalanga and have hoped that Ama Wheelies will be acknowledged to make it possible since it is fully pioneered by us persons with disabilities but it seems like we being marginalised because of our disabilities.The preferential proccurement for persons with disabilities is neglected by this department to make land provission to us.

Honorable President Zuma I am pleading to you, please save Ama Wheelies from being murdered a chance of developing the lives of quadriplegics and paraplegics and many other persons with disabilities who can benefit from developmental objectives of Ama Wheelie.All we need is hand up to assist us not a hand out.We want to be able to participate in our mainstream economy of our province and beyond as persons with disabilities we say”NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US”.

I hope that this letter will help you to help us get financial assistance for Ama Wheelies to be able to move forward Mr President.

Yours Sincerely

Moses Mlombo

Ama Wheelies Chairperson
Mobile: 0790523500

Letter 2.

Dear President Zuma

I am distressed and write requesting help. I am a quadriplegic and cannot readily go out working for I am unable to use either my hands or legs, but still the help I request is not for me but for Ama Wheelies, the only quadriplegic centre in Mpumalanga. I am distressed for the work I am able to do and have done and that is to help Ama Wheelies (the specialist centre accommodating me) and completed our business plan, The department of Social Services approved the Business plan; Social Development inspected our premises and after all that work we are told the budget has been cut! Distressed we were told by the budget for the Department Social Development has been cut with 20milion.

This distressing news have been conveyed to us by firstly Sakhile  Mathebulu our NPO project co-ordinator and  confirmed by the provincial Manager of Social Development Mpumalanga Province. Mrs Elisah Mshhlanga her email: elisahm AT social DOT mpu DOT gov DOT za and they can verify our predicament.

Ama Wheelies urgently need help your intervention for we do not have the money to pay JULY salaries or electricity.

Ama Wheelies submitted application to the Lotto February 2011, received a reference number (50445) but still waiting for help. Project co-ordinator is Mrs Sonja van Zyl Sonja AT nlb DOT org DOT za tell: 012 432 1452. We are waiting for one and half years praying for help from Lotto.

Please help! Ama Wheelies is both a home and rehabilitation centre for individuals with spinal injuries. Traumatic accidents cause severe neck injury to the spinal cord, causing paralysis dramatically changing lives. The home is for persons such as Moses, shot as a youngster still in school for his cell phone; Barry hijacked for his car on the way to work and Sarah who was paralyzed in a freak accident at age of 12! Disaster means our people are left with nothing, sickly and not able to do normal work. And yet the biggest asset available to Ama Wheelies is our people. We may be in wheelchairs, however we want to live; we want to work; we want our families with us and as young people doing things; working for ourselves, to improve our situation. Determined and to achieve financial independence, these quadriplegics who are unable to use hand or feet, rented a house on a farm, started the Mpumalanga quadriplegic centre on 27 November 2010 the date doors were opened here outside Lydenburg.

Our only hope is to turn to you dear President Zuma we need your help, we need funding please help!

Ama Wheelies is a section 21 non-profit organization (2008/021003/08) with our NPO number 083-504.

Kind Regards

Barry Botes
Mobile: 079 875 5040


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