Author ZP Dala wants out of mental institution

2015-04-12 16:58
(RavenHUWolf via Twitter)

(RavenHUWolf via Twitter)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Durban writer and psychologist Zainub Priya Dala on Sunday said she wants to get out of the psychiatric ward she checked herself in to, as people were “pointing and whispering”.

“Due to very strong meds and the people pointing and whispering I told the nurses to call my doctor and discharge me," she tweeted on her @ZPDala account on Sunday.

She said she felt she would be safer at home as word had spread that she was in the hospital and journalists were constantly calling her. The doctor who could authorise her discharge was however on leave.

She "reluctantly" checked herself into St Joseph Hospital’s psychiatric wing last week on the advice of a “religious leader” following an assault and pressure from her Muslim community in Durban, after she had expressed support for novelist Salman Rushdie at a literary event on March 18. She was told to do so to reflect on her religion and imaan, she tweeted.

Dala was assaulted in Overport, Durban, the following day, and several days before she was to launch her first novel. She was forced off the road by three men in a car. Two of them accosted her, held a knife to her throat and hit her in the face with a brick. They called her “Rushdie’s bitch”.

At the time, her publishing company, Umuzi publishers, the South African imprint of Penguin Random House, said it believed Dala was attacked because she had expressed admiration for Rushdie’s writing style.

British Indian author Rushdie’s controversial 1988 novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ sparked protests by Muslims in several countries. He received death threats and was named in a 2010 al-Qaeda hit list by Islamic militant Anwar al-Awlaki.

Writers’ organisation, the PEN American Centre, said some members of the Muslim community in Durban ostracised Dala, pressured her to renounce her statement about Rushdie's work, and called for her to "repent for her sins" and make a public vow of religious loyalty to Islam.

"When she continued to refuse to make a religious vow or other statements inconsistent with her personal beliefs, she was admitted to a mental institution," the PEN American Centre said in a statement.

English PEN said the campaign of intimidation against Dala, a physiotherapist specialising in autism, needed to stop.

“The repercussions of her public statement of support for Salman Rushdie should appal anyone who cares about freedom of expression in South Africa,” said English PEN director Jo Glanville.

Read more on:    durban  |  religion  |  health

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.