‘There’s nothing in my heart for you’ - mom of acid attack victim ahead of sentencing

2019-03-06 20:10
 Bonita Lewis (Peter Abrahams, SON)

Bonita Lewis (Peter Abrahams, SON)

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The mother of a young woman, whose ex-boyfriend used acid to attack her and later stabbed her to death, says she harbours no ill feelings towards him.

Bonita Lewis, mother of murdered Nikita Lewis, told the Western Cape High Court that she acknowledged the apology Simbarashe Dube had given her and her family.

"But there's nothing in my heart for you - not love, not hate. So asking me for forgiveness…" she said, shaking her head.

Dube was convicted in December for the murder of the single mother, who had been living at the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children in Manenberg. He threw acid in her face when she refused to move in with him.

Two months after the attack, Dube, a Zimbabwean national, stabbed Lewis in a shop near the shelter. She was stabbed more than 30 times.

He was also convicted of the serious assault of Bonita and Nikita's grandmother in their Kensington home and burglary for entering the house without their knowledge.

During sentencing proceedings, Lewis questioned why Dube would ask the court for a lenient sentence after the pathologist testified about the extent of her injuries.

"I listened to the other witnesses say how he sat on top of her [while stabbing her], the way her body reacted to the pain and shock…

"She didn't deserve to know you. For you to come here and ask for leniency, the audacity."

She asked how Dube could say he loved her daughter when he was cruel and brutal to her.

"I don't think [he] knows what love means," she said.

"If you take somebody's life, what do you think should happen to you? There are many days where I think to myself: 'If you can dish that out, why shouldn't it just be given back to you?"

She recounted instances when Dube stalked and assaulted Nikita, and rejected his claim that he had no memory of what happened.

"I definitely don't believe he doesn't remember. I think he is just lying. He is manipulative."

She has prayers Nikita wrote in the form of letters, asking God for forgiveness and "mercy" in her battle against substance abuse, Bonita told Judge Melanie Holderness.

"When you die, they say that person is better off than what we are. So I do have some peace," she said.

"But there are days where I feel this loss for her. Such an emptiness. When parents die, the child is an orphan. But when a child dies, there is no name for us, the parents."

She said she believed that Dube would have "endlessly pursued" Nikita and would never have let her daughter go.

Sentencing proceedings continue on Thursday.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime
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