Wiseman: The motorist apologised, and I would like SA to also accept his apology
Durban - The country embodied the spirit of ubuntu when it showed petrol attendant Wiseman Ndabezitha immeasurable compassion, donating thousands of rand when a video meant to humiliate him resurfaced on social media this week.
Ndabezitha, 38, from Sweetwaters in Pietermaritzburg, has received more than R20 000 in donations from strangers. He said their kindness had left him speechless and that he would be slaughtering a goat as thanksgiving to his ancestors.
In the video shot in January, Ndabezitha attended to a customer at BP Quarry service centre in Hilton, who asked for petrol of “210”. He assumed that the man meant R210, only to receive two R10 notes when he was done. This meant that he would have to pay the remainder of the bill from his wages.
Social media rallied behind Ndabezitha, with many depositing R210 into his personal account.
“I am in awe of what is still happening. Am grateful to Shembe, whom I cried to when I was shattered by the video which brought shame to my family. Some people from my valley were mocking me, calling me 210.
“I remember how my mother cried, wanting to know if the man who had recorded the video wanted me to lose my job. But today, I was able to send her some money to take care of her household needs because of the same video.”
When the Sunday Tribune visited Ndabezitha at the petrol station where he has been employed for seven years, the love from strangers was evident. Drivers hooted, some stopped to greet him and pedestrians saluted. A customer was seen handing Ndabezitha R200, an act he said had been carried out by many since Wednesday.
Ndabezitha shared that the man who shot the video arrived at his place of work on Thursday to apologise. He had last seen him on the day of the incident.
“He said his intention for secretly filming was to caution me against being too trusting and too open with customers, but when he was taking the video, he didn’t warn me,” said Ndabezitha.
“A colleague recognised him while we debated over the R210, and called him out. He laughed, picked up his phone and stopped recording.”
The man then paid the bill, and out of embarrassment left Ndabezitha a R10 tip.
“He has apologised for humiliating me, and I would like South Africa to also accept his apology.”
A Nedbank executive who was listening to a radio show called in and pledged to match contributions made by the end of Thursday.
Ndabezitha confirmed the bank had been in contact on Friday without divulging the amount he would be receiving.
“I would like to become a farmer. I have three cows, a calf, some chickens and goats. The plan is to also use some of this money to buy more animals.”
For family and friends hoping to score some cash from Ndabezitha, that won’t be possible as he has no plans of becoming a loan shark and that most of the money is in a fixed deposit account.