“Elsie Pretorius’ royal homecoming to Eldos”

Tearful reunion with mommy.

Elsie Pretorius’ (39) sojourn with drug addiction culminated in her being placed at the Hadassah Centre for Women. Her 11-month stint ended on February 12 as she returned home to Extension One after going through the rehabilitative process.

Amidst much fanfare, neighbours gathered around her flat for what proved to be an emotional homecoming for Pretorius. The Local Drug Action Committee, under the leadership of Cheryl Pillay, along with community activists, spent the weeks prior to her return, sprucing up the flat.

A telling smile.

Eldorado Park residents jumped in and donated paint, windows, furniture and curtains to make Elsie’s return that much more memorable. In reference to the burning of lolly lounges in nearby Rosettenville, Pillay said, “We are not burning homes, we are rebuilding lives.”

Pretorius had expressed her desire to return home as a queen and she was certainly welcomed as royalty as neighbours and friends cheered her arrival.

Many remarked on the visible physical changes as she had gained weight and no longer held the gaunt appearance which characterises the appearance of substance abuse dependent persons.

With her physical change an important aspect of her road to recovery, Pretorius admits that the road ahead will be an arduous one and said, “I am a practical person who enjoys working with my hands and keeping myself busy at all times is what will keep me going.”

Her jubilant children hugged her tightly and the tears flowed freely as she embarked on the next step to the road to recovery.

Her triumphant return home can be seen in the videos below:

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  AUTHOR
Enver Wessels

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