How a violent rape stole a mother's life

2015-08-21 13:30
Andiswa, not her real name, inside her shack. (Pharie Sefali, GroundUp)

Andiswa, not her real name, inside her shack. (Pharie Sefali, GroundUp)

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Cape Town - A 43-year-old woman who was raped and stabbed three times in her spine, has been left disabled, paralysed in her right arm and left leg, and unable to speak.

Andiswa, not her real name, from Site C Khayelitsha, was attacked and raped two years ago on her way to work.

Since the incident, she can do little herself. When GroundUp visited Andiswa in her one-room shack, she could not speak at all, but only made sounds to indicate yes or no. She gave the impression of being a cheerful person and seemed glad to have visitors.

Her neighbour said that before the incident, Andiswa was a domestic worker and went to work every day. She lived a normal life like any hardworking mother who has a family to take care of.


As her neighbour described the incident, Andiswa became restless. She wanted to say something, but she could not form any words. She showed the scar tissue from the three stab wounds near her spine.

During the day, she looks after her 2-year-old granddaughter and waits for her 7-year-old son, Thobile, to return from school. Her eldest daughter works all day at a restaurant.

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