Horrific abuse revealed

2019-09-03 15:10


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Chilling accounts of a Pietermaritzburg woman’s alleged physical, emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of her prominent, wealthy businessman husband, have been disclosed.

The woman has obtained an interim protection order from the Pietermaritzburg harassment court against the man and has moved out of their home.

In her affidavit, she also details over a decade of physical, verbal and emotional abuse inflicted on their children from the time they were infants. Although they all are now over 18, this has continued until recently.

She is not being named because she is allegedly a rape victim, and disclosing her husband’s name would reveal her identity.

She said in her affidavit that for many years during the marriage, she was not allowed to leave their home unless she was accompanied by her husband.

It all started a short while after their marriage when he slapped her and swore at her for arranging a birthday party for one of his friends, for whom they had both agreed to hold a party. That same day he wanted to push her from a window of their third-floor flat.

He also accused her of “looking at other men”, and punched her on her face and shoulders and tore off a sleeve of her Punjabi (Indian outfit) on another occasion. Later at home, he closed the curtains and punched and kicked her. She said she had blue marks on her arms and a blood clot developed in her eye. His father saw her and told her to pack her bags and go home, “if I wanted to have a life”.

Her husband apologised and said it wouldn’t happen again.

She described many assaults, one so bad that he had to call a doctor to examine her. The doctor wanted her to go for X-rays but he refused to let her go. She gave the doctor her mother’s contact details and asked him to call her parents to fetch her. By the time they arrived — two weeks later — her husband had “already sweet talked me into staying with him by apologising and buying me gifts”.

The woman said that she then fell pregnant and thought everything would be fine.

But it wasn’t. The assaults continued.

After their first child was born, she finally plucked up the courage to leave but her husband begged her to return, promising that things would be different.

And so the cycle continued and they had more children whom he also assaulted, she said in the statement.

She recalled that when her first born child was six months old, her husband threw a “heavy-heeled boot” at the child, whose head swelled up.

She also remembered him once shoving her into the boot of his car and stopping at a swampy area with tall grass where he threatened to kill her if she messed with him again.

When one of her children was three years old and used a swear word in front of the woman’s father, he later punched the child repeatedly in his stomach.

On another occasion he slapped the child very hard, causing his head to hit the bedroom door, leaving teeth marks in the door. Another time he punched the child on the nose because he could not tell him what he had learnt at school.

The woman also described incidents when he raped her.

She said in 2007, he gave her the first thalaak (in Islam three thalaaks are required for a husband to divorce his wife) after accusing her of looking at other men. Soon afterwards she got a second for the same reason.

On the eighth birthday of one of her children, he got angry when the child locked himself in the toilet. The father began to hammer at the toilet door and eventually the child opened it. The father then hit the child repeatedly with a hockey stick.

After he gave her the third thalaak, she went to her uncle’s flat in Durban. When he found out she had received a marriage proposal he set up a meeting with the Islamic judicial council. After hearing evidence, they decided that only two thalaaks had been given. She was given a document stating that the third thalaak was in her hands and if he abused her, she could divorce him.

That day he hit her with a baseball bat in front of all their children.

Once when one of her children was trying to protect her, her husband pointed a firearm at the child’s head.

“He said that he had one bullet in the gun and that he is going to play Russian roulette.”

He then pulled the trigger several times while holding the gun at the child’s head. The child was “hysterical and screaming”.

She added that when he thought she was suicidal, he allowed her to see a psychologist.

Once when she was reading the Quran, he told her to stop but she continued.

He took out a chopper from the boot of his car and held it over her head while two of their children watched in shock.

“He made me lower my head and raised the chopper over my neck and moved it several times in the air just above my neck, in a chopping motion,” she said.

He then hit her.

Days later, she was hospitalised in Howick because the doctor said she was “shot” psychologically. Her husband wanted her to be discharged because “there were men there”, so he threatened to harm the psychologist’s children.

Another time he bought his 21-year-old daughter a car after slapping her.

“He would do the same with me, in that after assaulting me, he would buy me watches and other pieces of jewellery,” she said.

This year, he fired a shot inside the house because he was angry that his daughter-in-law had not greeted him at the mall. He wanted to attack her with a fire poker.

The man then pulled out his firearm and demanded that the son bring his wife upstairs and the son started screaming frantically.

The woman said the man is capable of murdering her.

“Even though I have managed to escape, I am still a prisoner. I have good reason to believe that he has me followed and that my telephone lines are bugged,” she said.

The matter returns to court in October. 

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  abuse

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