- President Jacob Zuma handed over keys to the mother of Ontlametse Phalatse, the first black girl diagnosed with progeria, who died recently
- The President said he will soon fulfill the second promise of a house for Ontlametse's family
- Ontlametse defied life expectancy of 13 to see her 18th birthday, but died soon after
During celebrations to mark his 75th birthday on Wednesday, April 12, South African President Jacob Zuma fulfilled a promise he made to the late Ontlametse Phalatse, the first black girl diagnosed with progeria.
Ontlametse met with President Zuma to mark her 18th birthday on March 25, during which the President pledged to buy her family a car and a house.
Pursuant to his pledge, President Zuma handed over keys to the car he bought for Ontlamtse's family to her mother.
Speaking in Zulu, President Zuma said: “I agreed to buy her mother a car and house when we met last month. We had already bought the car and she was meant to receive it today. Her mom will still get the car and house.”
The President also condoled with Ontlametse's mother and the rest of her family, saying: “We mourn with you. And we will build your house as promised.”
Ontlametse defied doctors' predictions that she would not live past the age of 13 to see her 18th birthday on March 25, but passed away on April 12. Her rare condition caused her body to age at a rapid pace, making her look much older than she was.
President Zuma had invited her to his 75th birthday celebration but she unfortunately passed away before she could attend.
Watch a tribute to Ontlametse Phalatse in the video below.