Andries Mpiti, 45, is set to have his first cataract operation in August. Photo: supplied
Andries Mpiti, 45, is set to have his first cataract operation in August. Photo: supplied

Good Samaritan raises R20k to give petrol attendant the gift of sight

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Jun 11, 2021

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Cape Town - Attention to detail is what led a Cape Town woman to start a campaign to raise funds for a local petrol attendant to have much-needed eye surgery to save his sight.

Ann Bennetts, 67, was filling up at the local Engen petrol station in Tokai when she noticed the attendant assisting her was struggling with his sight.

Speaking to African News Agency (ANA), Bennetts said she always filled up at the local Engen, as she had worked for the company for 30 years and had a connection to it.

Bennetts said that in April, as she was ready to pay by card, she noticed that her petrol attendant, Andries Mpiti, was struggling to see.

“Andries held the card machine up to his nose and I could see he was struggling to see. I told him to have his eyes checked out.

“It was then that he told me he has cataracts and was losing his sight. He said he was on the Groote Schuur Hospital waiting list to have his operation done.

“However, he has been on the waiting list for a number of years.

“Andries is also diabetic,” Bennetts told ANA.

She said, initially, she thought he was in his sixties but discovered Mpiti was only 45 years old, has children and is the breadwinner of his household.

This then sparked an idea.

Bennetts said she knows of the Wembley Eye Clinic in Athlone and made an appointment for Mpiti.

She first took him to her optometrist, who had to refer him to the clinic.

“We then went to the clinic and when the doctor examined him, the doctor said it was very bad.

“The surgery, because it is private, would cost R10 000 an eye,” Bennetts said.

She then opened up a BackaBuddy page where she put down R1 000 cash and approached friends and people she knew to donate to the cause of helping Mpiti regain his sight.

The campaign was called ‘Sight’ For Andries.

Bennetts said the campaign was a hit and even got donors from abroad who donated in dollars.

“The target was R20 000 and we reached the target,” she said happily.

“Andries will have his first surgery on his right eye, which is the worst affected, in August and his second surgery will be in November,” Bennetts told ANA.

She said she and Mpiti have since built a relationship and added that once she broke the news to him about his operations, which will happen sooner than expected, he cried.

ANA tried contacting Mpiti. However, he was unavailable for comment.

African News Agency (ANA)

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