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Manuel gets emotional while dedicating bursary to late activist

Western Cape
Cape Town – Clever Trevor and his Mitchells Plain Bursary and Role Model Trust team handed over bursaries worth R1.35 million to 54 students from Mitchells Plain and surrounding areas at Beacon Hill High School on Saturday.

The trust also awarded the inaugural Anthony George Bursary for Students with Special Needs to Xola Yalezo from Khayelitsha, a first-year student who is studying Optical Dispensing at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, the founding patron of the trust, and his wife Maria Ramos, CEO of Barclays Africa, joined about 300 guests who had gathered to celebrate the awarding of the bursaries.

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Trevor Manuel at the Mitchells Plain Bursary and Role Model Trust awards. Picture: Jack Lestrade

Mitchells Plain-born comedian Kurt Schoonraad was the MC for the day and Beacon Hill High School principal Gregory Kannemeyer welcomed the guests.

Manuel said the bursary trust was investing in young people who would show the community of Mitchells Plain there is hope for youngsters to rise above the social ills.

Manuel became emotional as he spoke about a special bursary dedicated to Anthony George, an ANC activist from Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, who passed away in January.

The trust decided to award this special bursary to a new recipient every year.

“Anthony George was wheelchair-bound, but he was a leader and an activist always,” said Manuel.

“When I was the constituency MP for Mitchells Plain, Anthony George would come to our meetings and say ‘Comrade Trevor, you’re not fulfilling your obligation. You expect to serve me, but my wheelchair can’t go up the stairs to your Constituency Office'.”

“Anthony also told me: ‘I will take you to the Mitchells Plain train station where there is a lift shaft, but there isn’t a lift so that people like me in wheelchairs can get down to the station to use the train'. He kept us on our toes as an activist and a leader should."

“And then last year, at our awards ceremony, he rolled forward in his wheelchair and said, ‘look, I don’t have money but I want to make a donation to the Mitchells Plain Bursary Trust’. He deposited R1 000 in the Trust’s bank account and made us weep!”

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