Bukelwa Mbulawa and Warrior, the dog she rescued. Picture: Candice Chaplin

Telephone calls and e-mails streamed in from readers on Monday in response to an article about Bukelwa Mbulawa, who lost her job after she made a call that saved a dog’s life.

Mostly animal lovers, they wanted to commend her on “an act of compassion”.

About 10 people asked for Mbulawa’s contact details to make a monetary donation so she could continue to support her family.

In addition, one of the city’s top lawyers has offered to take Mbulawa’s case to the Labour Court.

One of the e-mails came from a Cape Town man who donated money to Mbulawa on Monday.

“The man visited me in Khayelitsha yesterday morning and I could not believe when he said he wanted to donate such a large sum of money to support my family. When I received the cheque, I cried and screamed ‘yoo yoo’ in disbelief,” she said.

“When I found out last week that I no longer had a job, I cried and so did my children. I thought I had to go from door to door to beg for food for my children, as I did before I worked,” she said.

The man said Mbulawa was an example to people the world over:

“Mbulawa is a hero. Very seldom nowadays will you find people doing anything if there is no reward. She did what she did at great cost to herself.”

Mbulawa worked in the kitchen at Luhlaza Secondary School where two janitors allegedly buried a dog alive two weeks ago.

It is alleged they were following the headmaster’s orders to get rid of the dog as he referred to it as a “nuisance”.

The dog survived and was dubbed “Warrior” by rescuers.

The janitors have since returned to work.

A kitchen staffer at Luhlaza Secondary witnessed the dog being buried and returned to alert his colleagues.

Mbulawa was one of them.

According to Mbulawa, the seven staffers as a group decided to alert animal carers at the Mdananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha, using her cellphone.

She said a week later, while she was on a day’s sick leave, the principal called a meeting with her colleagues saying that he knew it was Mbulawa who had made the call to the clinic.

“He told my colleagues to tell me not to return to work as I no longer have a job,” she said.

Mbulawa said before her job at the school, she went door to door asking for money, food and clothes. She was her family’s breadwinner and financially supported her two sons who still attend school, her two unemployed sisters and her mother.

Meanwhile, Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant, said it was confirmed by the school nutrition co-ordinator and the department’s district nutrition co-ordinator that the staff were informed in July that they would be reduced by one, because of a lower number of pupils at the school.

She said Mbulawa had known that she would be leaving the school.

“We will never accept any principal taking action against an employee who reports a criminal offence,” she said. - Cape Times

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* If you would like to help Bukelwa Mbulawa, contact the Cape Times at [email protected] or on 021 488 4713.