Members of 1 Regiment Northern Transvaal (RNT) Walk the Madiba Talk, 18 July 2013

Article and Photographs by Private Daniel Maluleke, 1 Regiment Northern Transvaal News Editor

Members of 1 Regiment Northern Transvaal, the only Mechanised Infantry Battalion in Pretoria, do not take a backseat when it comes to fulfilling their responsibilities towards the people, the government of the day, and the Republic of South Africa!

This became evident on the 18th of July when they took time off their punishing schedule to embark on a cleaning campaign at Tshwaraganang Orphanage which is nestled in Temba unit 7 near Hammanskraal. For members of this Reserve force unit which is one of the Sub-divisions of the Infantry formation, there was no better time to do that than during this day in which our iconic elderly statesman, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was commemorating his 95th birthday, let alone his call for 67 minutes of doing good to humanity. On that historic day members of this unit deemed it fit and proper to leave their R4 rifles and battle jackets behind, and armed themselves with spades and forks to wage war against the overgrown grass and weeds that were surrounding Tshwaraganang orphanage. This is because during rainy season this grass could pose a threat to these kids since it could become a hideout for snakes that could slither into this orphanage. Even the cruel and heartless thugs could use this spot as a hide out to carry out their atrocious activities.

Captain Motlhasedi, Capt Nemakula, Capt Hlungwane and Staff Pienaar who were the “Nuts and Bolts men” during the training, also rolled up their sleeves and do the spadework at Tshwaraganang.

As if that was not enough the very same day it was like all the Christmases came in one day at Tshwaraganang when members from Area Military Health Unit brought some groceries at this centre.

After this physically demanding task, it was business as usual for these “Mechanised Members” as they went back to the field to continue with their training.

The centre which is the brainchild of Mrs. Cathrine Sepato was established in 2002. This is after she was touched by the escalating poverty in this sprawling township and the surrounding arrears.

Some of these children are orphans who either lost their parents or who were neglected by their parents for reasons that cannot be justified. Catherine decided to do something about the situation. She wanted to help these kids in any and all ways possible. She wanted to give these kids hope and invest in their future. Since its inception the centre has been surviving on assistance from donors. It was inspiring, humbling, and encouraging to see men in camouflage doing that in honor of the man who is the architect of the 1994 transition to multi-racial democracy.

“We are humbled by this gesture of goodwill that you have shown, and we believe that members from others sectors could take a leaf out of your book by also contributing in the orphanage”, said Catherine, who is the founder of this centre.

Members of 1 Regiment Northern Transvaal who embarked on a cleaning campaign at Tshwaraganang Orphanage Centre in Temba, Hammanskraal

Members of 1 Regiment Northern Transvaal who embarked on a cleaning campaign at Tshwaraganang Orphanage Centre in Temba, Hammanskraal

Members of 1 Regiment Northern Transvaal who embarked on a cleaning campaign at Tshwaraganang Orphanage Centre in Temba, Hammanskraal Members of 1 Regiment Northern Transvaal who embarked on a cleaning campaign at Tshwaraganang Orphanage Centre in Temba, Hammanskraal
Members of 1 Regiment Northern Transvaal who embarked on a cleaning campaign at Tshwaraganang Orphanage Centre in Temba, Hammanskraal Members of 1 Regiment Northern Transvaal who embarked on a cleaning campaign at Tshwaraganang Orphanage Centre in Temba, Hammanskraal