Cape Town - Fredie Blom is now the proud owner of his very first home, at the ripe old age of 114. Fredie, thought to be the oldest living man in the world, on Thursday received the title deed to his council house in Delft, which he has been sharing with his wife Jeanette, 85, for the past 30 years.
An elated Fredie was invited to the Delft Community Hall where Human Settlements MEC Bongi Madikizela handed over the documents. At home, a grumpy Fredie complained of the biting cold and found it difficult to climb into the car to take him to the Delft Community Hall. He also refused to get into a wheelchair, instead using a walking stick as he entered the hall to loud applause from residents.
Fredie and Jeanette were among 50 families who received title deeds. Fredie was born on 8 May 1904 in Adelaide in the Eastern Cape and had worked as a gardener.
He is believed to be oldest man in the world - Guinness World Records had certified 112-year-old Masazo Nonaka of Japan as the world’s oldest man earlier this year. The company is yet to respond to a query from the Daily Voice regarding Fredie’s claim.
As the MEC handed the title deed over to Fredie and Jeanette, he told them: “No one can take this place, no-one can take this home away from you, this is your home. I feel so honoured (to do this for you).” Jeanette signed the title deed as Fredie is unable to read or write, although he can count.
“We have been living here for 30 years and I feel so happy that we finally have these papers,” she said.
A grateful Fredie added: “I just want to say thank you to everyone because you never forgot about us.”
Another couple who received their title deed was Colleen, 53, and Vincent Koeries, 56, who are the grandparents of murdered six-year-old Kim Abrahams of Delft.
Little Kim went missing in August 2005 and was strangled to death. Her body was found hours later lying in a stagnant pool of water. Her neighbour Jerome Holmes was arrested but eventually acquitted of the murder. An emotional Colleen says finally owning her own house is a dream come true.
“I cannot believe this is true after 25 years, we feel like we are dreaming,” she says.
Another recipient couple, Isaac, 61 and his wife, Sina Dyonta, 63, also celebrated 32 years of marriage on Thursday. “This is a gift for us, today is our wedding anniversary,” an excited Sina said.