Premier Stan Mathabatha and his wife, Margaret in celebration of his 60th birthday spent time with the young patients at the Cansa TLC Paediatric Ward of the Polokwane Provincial Hospital on Friday.
The excited patients awaited the arrival of the Premier and his entourage under a specially constructed tent in the forecourt of the ward. They watched open-mouthed as Mathabatha, accompanied by Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba, her Head of Department Ntsile Kgaphola and Capricorn District Municipality acting Executive Mayor Calvin Masoga among others, arrived amid singing and ululation by staff members.
Mathabatha assured the patients that the visit was an exceptional experience and that it was an honour to celebrate his birthday with them. He added that the patients were missing out on a lot of the pleasures and opportunities healthy children have and that it was not their own doing. He commended them for their courage and urged their caregivers to assist them to develop their skills.
Mathabatha handed over bags containing soft toys, water bottles, sweets, balloons and a small blanket to each child and joined them in the cutting of a big cake sporting his name and photo.
The presents were acquired from donations as well as financial input from the Premier himself.
Story and photos: BARRY VILJOEN
Featured photo: Premier Stan Mathabatha with one of the young patients.