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EThewini Mayor and businessman help former soccer star
​From left is Mlungisi Ntombela, from the office of the Mayor,
businessman Sandile Zungu, former Banyana Banyana soccer
star Makhosi Luthuli and eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede.
Zungu and Mayor Gumede handed over a cheque for
R 100 000 to Makhosi to assist with her medical costs as she
travels to specialists to remove the cancerous tumour on her
face. Picture: ZAMANTUNGWA GUMEDE
MOVED by the plight of former Banyana Banyana star, Makhosi Luthuli, whose face has been deformed by a growing cancerous tumour, eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede approached local businessman Sandile Zungu for assistance.

On 10 February Mayor Gumede and Zungu presented Luthuli with a cheque for R100 000 towards her medical expenses and transport costs. They also pledged to stand alongside her on her journey to recovery at a media conference held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

Mayor Gumede said she was moved to assist Luthuli who had difficulty breathing because of the tumour. “She approached my office for help. I am so happy that she will be able to see the necessary specialists and get help. I am thankful for what Sandile has done,” said Mayor Gumede. She said an account has been set up in Luthuli’s name for anyone who wishes to donate to further assist her. Mayor Gumede added that a cancer specialist in Johannesburg has also pledged his support.

Zungu, who turned 51 on 10 February, assisted Luthuli through his Zodwa Zungu Foundation. “I made a decision to give back to where the community needs it most, by doing an extraordinary act of kindness on my birthday. I am happy to be able to help Makhosi as she has represented South Africa on the highest level in football and now suffers from this sickness which seeks to destroy her beauty.” He extended the challenge to other businessmen as well as health professionals to extend a helping hand to Luthuli.

“Her needs go far beyond the R100 000 so let us embrace each other and in the true spirit of the late former President Nelson Mandela, let us assist Makhosi together.” An emotional Luthuli said it was a great pleasure being with Mayor Gumede and Zungu. She said she has been on this journey for seven years. She described the tumour as a mask saying: “I wasn’t born like this and I won’t die like this.”
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