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Lekgwathi Opens Up On His Restaurant Being Destroyed

Former Orlando Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi has opened up on his restaurant ‘The Grootman’ being destroyed by looters and estimates the damage at around R400 000.

The 44-year-old, who was born in Ga-Rankuwa, Gauteng, had only opened his restaurant in April this year, putting most of his savings into the business, which employed eight people.

However, it was completely destroyed during the unrests and looting in KZN and Johannesburg last week.

After initially thinking his place was safe, despite looting in the area, Lekgwathi revealed how he heard that people had also broken into his place.

“It was around 10 o’clock. After a few hours, they said (that) at our shopping centre, they were busy with the shop next to me. My shop is next to the gate, they passed my shop and went to the second shop,” he told ESPN.

“Then they went to the (nearby) Shoprite (store) and then they came back. It was two guys, they went to my store, kicked the door, it was like they were playing, you know. They kicked again, they started hitting the locks. They were serious now…

“After they opened the door, other people – (I don’t think it was) their motive to join the guys, but because the shop was open, even they joined. They took everything, including the plugs and wires, they took everything.”

“It was sad, working for 20 years playing soccer and saving money… After you retire, you say you’re gonna have something to help you put food on the table, then someone comes along and destroys it just like that.”

Despite all the despair after finding his restaurant completely destroyed, knowing he didn’t have insurance yet, Lekgwathi has regained hope at perhaps rebuilding following tons of supportive messages.

“The support of the people has been unbelievable and amazing,” he explains. 

“Even now, I am still getting messages on my social media, some of them, I can’t even read. At one stage, on my WhatsApp, I had, like, 400 messages, which is unbelievable and crazy. The support was so amazing.”

The former Bucs star also revealed that he will forgive the looters

“I have done too many things wrong and people have forgiven me. I’m a Christian, I go to church, I read the Bible, and I have learned too many things from the pastors,” he added. 

“When people do wrong, you must just forgive them, and then you must pray for them so that they don’t repeat the same mistakes.

“We (South Africans) are brothers. We must lead like brothers and take South Africa somewhere.”

Lekgwathi made over 200 appearances for Pirates during his career and was part of the team that won the double-treble in 2010/11 and 2011/12.