Help victims of theft and arson in Masiphumelele

Offtopic, but probably more relevant than work can ever be…


My domestic helper is Helena. She is Mozambican and lets just  say she is a real Gem. We first met at a fruit and veg store in Kommetjie where she was being paid R 50 a day to work from 7am till 7pm. I should probably name that store as it’s a downright disgrace and they deserve a boycotting…but i think that’s for another day. Nevertheless, she is now employed formally, paid well, is on  UIF…and fully legally in SA with all paperwork in order.


She recently returned to Mozambique to visit her family after 4 years apart. While she was gone, her house was robbed and then to add insult to injury the criminals burned her house to the ground. Apparently this is the latest “trend” in township theft. This happened to her and 2 of her friends. It also affected about 20 other families in Masiphumelele


As you may know, being foreign can be can be very hard in South Africa, where Xenophobic action is still rife. This could well be related.


Helena lost everything she had. She thankfully does not buy on credit so owes nothing to shops, but she has of course lost everything. She and I have compiled a list of furnishings, clothes, kitchen items that she and her friends lost. If you have the resource or capability to donate such items I know it will be valued highly. These are not people looking for handouts, they are too proud for that.


This was an initiative thought up by my friend James Costello and myself and I then put the idea to them. They are not expecting anything, but I know will be grateful if anyone out there can assist. Perhaps you have an old bed and mattress just lying around, or maybe you own a linen shop, or some old pots and pans…or even kids clothes that don’t fit them anymore…Its always a difficult time of year financially for everyone so please don’t feel obliged. You must help yourself first!


Here is the list of things they lost.



TV, 2 seater couch, blankets, Pots, Dishes, Spoons, Knives, 1 x bed, children’s clothes from age 9 years and 4 years, adults lady clothing, adult mens clothing, microwave, fridge, low TV cabinet/ cupboard, wardrobe



Bed, blankets, pots and dishes, cutlery, children’s clothes, adults clothes (men and woman), kitchen unit, gas stove



Wardrobe, Fridge, TV, children’s clothes for boys and girls (1-year-old and 8-year-old), bed and blankets, Adult mens and ladies clothes, pots, plates and cutlery, carpet, couch


so a master list

1. TVs

2. Beds

3. Bedding/ linen

4. Clothes for children ages, 1, 4, 8 & 9

5. Clothing for adult ladies and men

6. Pots and pans

7. General kitchen cutlery

8. Fridges

9. Gas stoves

10. Blankets

11. Wardrobes

12. Couches/ Sleeper beds

13. Carpets

At the foot of their list was a note to say “We will thank you all for your help. God will Bless you all for anything”.


How to Donate

As its will be very difficult for most of you to deliver large items I am going to offer my businesses vehicle to collect from you in the Cape Town area.  At this stage it would obviously logistically be very difficult to receive items from outside greater Cape Town due to costs involved. Just drop me a mail at and I will arrange either to send my bakkie or our van. I can then send it to my Ottery workshop and distribute from there.


or, our address is

16 Hyde Park

Ottery Road




If we end up with a deluge of donations, we will contact a local charity  in the area who can then distribute any excess to others in need.


We also plan to move any large items back in slowly so as not to alert the criminals to the presence of new stuff in their houses.


that’s it…Have a wonderful 2011 and thanks in advance for any help received.


Best Regards

Liam Beattie

076 577 0989


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