New life for acid-burn survivor

2011-09-03 14:47

Poetry and music event raises R53 000 to help woman with plastic surgery after violent attack

Nake Mashego (28) doesn’t want much. All she wants is to look the way she did before she was scarred in an acid ­attack.

Her wish is about to be granted. Celebrities and ordinary people, government and business have ­donated more than R53 000 for plastic surgery to reconstruct her face.

SABC2 Motswako presenter Penny Lebyane donated R2 000 for Mashego’s surgery.

“I heard about her story and ­understood it. She has lost confidence in humanity and her beauty, and I thought I should use my platform to rally people to support her,” Lebyane said.

Unemployed Joseph Motshegoa from Lephalale, Limpopo, heard about Mashego’s ordeal on radio.

“I don’t know her, but when I ­imagined what she went through, I felt so much pain. That’s why I donated my R200. Hopefully, it will help the cause against women abuse,” Motshegoa said.

A poetry and music event last ­Saturday, organised by the Ehlanzeni District Municipality and the Greater Nelspruit Rape Intervention Project (Grip), netted R53 070 for Mashego’s surgery.

Grip is negotiating with plastic surgeons to set up an appointment. Mashego has been receiving counselling from Grip since the ­attack on November 11 last year.

An unemployed mother of a 10-year-old daughter, she suffered the attack allegedly at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Sonnyboy Mudau.

According to Mashego, Mudau led her to a bridge outside Mataffin village near Nelspruit under the pretext that they were going to meet his friend to deliver a plastic bag.

“I had no idea he would do this as he didn’t show any anger. We stood under the bridge for a long time. I told him it was getting late and he then said let’s walk into the bush and hide the plastic bag.”

Mudau allegedly raped her, poured acid over her face, lit a ­cigarette and allegedly stubbed it out on her body. Her life has never been the same.

“I was ashamed to go out of the house. I couldn’t visit friends. The way people stared at me on the street made me avoid ­going out.”

Mashego alleged that police ­withdrew the case without her knowledge, but Mpumalanga ­police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Leonard Hlathi denied this and said Mashego withdrew the charges ­herself.

“The police refused to write a withdrawal statement on two occasions when both (Mashego and Mudau’s) families said they had reached an agreement. It came to a point where the prosecutor said there was nothing much that could be done as the complainant was not willing to continue, and the case was withdrawn but without any supporting statement from the ­police,” Hlathi said.

The donations to help her have given her a new lease on life.

“To say I’m feeling great is an ­understatement. I don’t know what to say. The donors have made me forget that I was injured so ­badly. It feels good to know that I’m not alone.”


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