‘Moving’ launch for controversial book

2018-03-15 06:01
                                        PHOTO: omega moagiJackie Phamotse (left) and launch organiser Rita Nako.

PHOTO: omega moagiJackie Phamotse (left) and launch organiser Rita Nako.

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JOHANNESBURG-BASED author Jackie Phamotse launched her newly released book, Bare, at St Michael’s on Sand on Saturday.

The launch, organised by book club founder Rita Nako, was well-attended by book lovers from all over the South Coast.

Through her “moving” presentation, Phamotse unpacked the book and encouraged women to take a stand against abuse. The book details her experience of being gang raped for three hours at a Bloemfontein club when she was 17 years old and attending a boarding school in the area. One of her rapists, she said, was a ANC deputy minister.

Since releasing the book in which she does not name the rapist, Phamotse said she and have family have been victimised and harassed in a bid to try to silence her. “I could not find a publisher for the book because all publishing houses said my book was too controversial. I had to self-publish and on the eve of my first launch they stole all our books; all 2 000 copies were stolen. At the time, I was also living in my car for safety. I later moved to a safe house and I got protection because I was receiving threats,” said Phamotse.

On the eve of her launch at St Michael’s on Saturday, Phamotse said her body guard was shot dead at the airport.

“Today is my birthday, I am turning 30, but it is a very sad birthday for me because of this [her body guard’s death]. We have been through a lot together and he made many sacrifices for me.

“He was only 38 years old and he had a family, a wife and children. It saddens me because I know that bullet was meant for me,” said Phamotse.

She became emotional as she recalled the rape. “I decided to speak out about this for all the women who cannot. As women, we are so good at pretending that everything is fine when it is not. We put our make-up on and we smile to the world while we are dying inside. We need to stop this.

“My mother lived in an abusive relationship all her life and nothing changed because she was quiet about it. I was 12 years old when my father shot my mother. He cleaned out the wound himself and everyone was quiet about it. If I keep quiet about the violations that happened to me I am not honouring my mother’s death. We cannot be a society that is blindfolded.”

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