Govt builds house for sick orphan

Govt builds house for sick orphan

Diepsloot resident Gontlafetse Sehako, centre, who suffers from pulmonary hypertension, shares a moment with her cousins Khumo Mogotsi, right, and Matilda Sema, before receiving a brand new home and donations, 10 July 2015. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Gauteng human settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo helped Gontlafetse Sehako cut the ribbon before entering the temporary new house built for her after doctors said she could not live in a shack because of her poor health.

Sehako, an orphaned Diepsloot resident who has lived in a shack since she was born, has pulmonary hypertension, a rare lung disease which can enlarge the heart’s right ventricle and cause cardiac arrest. Doctors declared on 26-year-old Sehako’s medical certificates that living in a shack in her condition was hazardous.

Her plight moved the MEC to intervene to provide Sehako with suitable accommodation. A temporary two-room structure was built for her onto the shack she had been sharing with her uncle Lucas Sehako and his family.

After moving into her rooms on Friday, Sehako said: “I am overwhelmed. This is the moment I have been waiting for.” Her uncle said: “I’m very happy this is happening. I believe after the operation, she will be able to proceed like people of her age.” The new rooms were built in two days after Mamabolo visited the family on Wednesday.

“We pushed to get the house done by today because an extra day in the shack is another day of pain for Gontlafetse,” said Mamabolo. “This is a much better place for her.”

He added that in four months time a proper house would be built for Sehako. Before the end of this week, a toilet and bathroom would be added to her temporary accommodation.

“The City of Johannesburg confirmed there will be additional oxygen cylinders supplied to ensure she does not run out,” Mamabolo added. The family has raised funds with help from the church and the community for Sehako to have a lung transplant.

But a donor has not been found yet. To help get a lung donated to Gontlafetse, please contact Khumo Mogotsi at 076-471-0726 or e-mail

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