Nothing is impossible: wheelchair-bound man

Filed in Everyday Hero by on January 28, 2015 • views: 1966

imageDisabled Manenberg resident Ricardo Simmers is confined to a wheelchair, but does not allow this to stop him from operating a motorised dirt compactor or swinging a pick axe.

He is helping his co-workers with upgrading pavements and erecting fences around flats in the suburb.

Simmers, 31, was left disabled 15 years ago after he was shot 11 times by a rival gangster.

Gripping his wheel in one hand while steering an earth compactor with the other in Beatrix Court, he said: “This wheelchair doesn’t hold me back. I handle a pick and work with a hammer and compactor. Nothing is impossible for me. I don’t want people to pity me.”

He leads eight workers contracted to a company that issues contracts to electricians, carpenters, plumbers and painters to upgrade council flats in Manenberg.

“I have been working from the beginning of this contract last year on this project. I get a salary, but had also received a government disability grant, which was stopped in 2012. I’m busy reapplying for it.”

Simmers still believes he is a target for rival gangs as “it won’t matter if I withdraw because other gangs are in any case still going to shoot me dead, because I had made them heartsore with deeds I committed against them. What does it matter that I change my life?”

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato and Social Development MEC Albert Fritz visited the gang-hit area on Monday.

On Tuesday, the city’s outgoing Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, visited schools. Accompanied by SAPS and Metro Police officers, he said: “The purpose was to see if the schools’ safety operations that were approved when schools reopened, were in place.”


 

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