‘I have done my time’- woman

2017-01-12 06:02
 Nontsikelelo Msutwana said she is being victimized ever since she came back from prison.  PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Nontsikelelo Msutwana said she is being victimized ever since she came back from prison. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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Cape Town - A Gugulethu ex-offender is on the brink of losing her cool if her neighbours continue stigmatising her about her jail stint.

Nontsikelelo Msutwana , 52, claims that since she has been out of prison in 2011, she has been subjected to jibes and insults as a “former jail bird.

She claims that she has been at the receiving end of profanities, demonstrations outside her home and even catcalls from men. On the 1st of January this year her dog was splashed with acid.

She says her life has been a living hell; something that she thought wouldn’t happen as she had changed her ways.

Bloody fight

She says that her ordeal began in 2008 when she was arrested in July after a bloody fight with her then boyfriend.

“I still remember the day like it was yesterday, I had had a rocky relationship with my boyfriend and as a result I had told us to break it off.

He couldn’t take it well and when we met on the day, he started shouting at me. He told me that I had used him and now I wanted to dump him for someone else,” she recalled.

On the evening of Tuesday July 8 her life changed when her then boyfriend rushed into her home.

“He arrived and started shouting at me as well as hurling profanities at me, we argued until he stabbed me.

We were both drunk and I decided to defend myself so I stabbed him in the face, I rushed to the back of my house where I was also stabbed by my tenants who were drunk as well,” she said.

She said that she had sustained 15 stab wounds and collapsed outside her home and woke up in hospital.

She said that her boyfriend opened a case against her while she was in hospital and she ended up spending two years in prison awaiting trial.

She was found guilty of assault and was put under house arrest for three years.

Sober habits

After she was released from prison she developed sober habits but the community was having none of it.

“I am at my wits end; I do not know what to do anymore. I’m being assaulted by young children and called a jailbird that should go back.

She said that she was surprised that this was the way ex convicts are treated in the community.

“It’s bad enough that when a person comes from jail they can't be employed, but to be attacked by the community. Where will people go?” She said she tried to engage the local street committee but they didn’t help her.

“I have more than 10 cases at the police where I complain of intimidation, but nothing is being done, I’m at a loss for words,” she said.

Vusumzi Jonasi, chairman of Intsika Yabahlali, a community organisation, said that they met with the street committee of NY152 and there seems to be no valid reason to attack Msutwana.

“She is being made to live a terrible life in her home and that is not right. If it continues we will take a stand to protect her,” he said.

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