A Cape Town nonagenarian who broke her hip and waited two days for an ambulance was delighted when Cope MP Mosiuoa Lekota, who sought medical attention for her, put his parliamentary duties on hold so that he could wish her well ahead of surgery.
On Tuesday night, Lekota popped in to visit his new friend Jeanette Roux at Tygerberg Hospital, where she is expected to undergo the operation almost a week after she fell from her bed.
Roux, 94, waited two days for an ambulance to arrive after the serious injury occurred in her Goodwood home, early last Monday.
Roux's daughter contacted family friend Debbie Els, after repeated calls to emergency services for an ambulance proved fruitless.
Els has known Lekota for many years. She is the provincial leader of the Africa Redemption Democracy party and met him during his tenure as defence minister.
"Within minutes of calling him, Mr Lekota was here," Els said.
"He visited with her and later stood outside the house waiting for the ambulance, which took her to Tygerberg Hospital. He was wonderful."
Lekota told News24 he was horrified when he heard that the elderly woman had been in pain for two days without medical attention.
His home at Acacia Park Parliamentary Village was not far away. He didn't know the area too well and asked a friend to help him find Roux's home.
"When I saw her, she was lying in bed. I could see she was really advanced in years. I knew I had to get an ambulance so that she could get out of the house and into a hospital," he said.
"I called a comrade and told him the situation. He asked me to let him make a few calls."
While they waited, he and Roux had a conversation about the government and how to build a good and caring society.
"She said she couldn't believe that a minister had come to see her. In her mind, I was still a minister," Lekota joked.
"At one point she had tears in her eyes. She was surprised that I had come to help her. But that is what we're supposed to do. We are the servants of the people."
The two paramedics who arrived shortly thereafter were "diligent and dedicated", Lekota said.
Roux was loaded into the ambulance and taken to the hospital.
He gave the family his number and asked them to keep him informed about her condition.
Lekota had been out of the city for a few days and returned on Tuesday for the debate on the State of the Nation Address.
"I stayed for a while but left when I heard she would be operated on [on Wednesday]," he said.
"Her family said she would like to see me and I was quite worried about her. When I arrived, she looked so different to when I first saw her. She was relaxed and almost jumped out of bed. I think for a moment she forgot she was injured."
Els took to Facebook and posted about what happened, praising Lekota for his intervention. It garnered 9 000 likes and was shared more than 5 500 times.
Lekota said he was surprised to hear that Els's post on Facebook had gone viral.
"I didn't think it was such a big thing. It was a necessary intervention."