Joburg woman who had her drink spiked at a local restaurant tells her story: 'I’m lucky to be alive'

Kholeka Masango (Photo: Supplied to DRUM)
Kholeka Masango (Photo: Supplied to DRUM)

Crimes against women in South Africa are on the rise and social media is filled with posts about missing women.

Here is the 21-year-old's story:

"It was a rainy day in Johannesburg, and I was running a few errands for my mother. When I was done, I figured I should take myself out for a mini solo date. I went to a restaurant and ordered a light meal and a non-alcoholic drink since I was driving,” she tells Drum.

“While I was sitting there enjoying my own company, a man came to my table and sat right next to me. When I asked if I could help him, he asked for my number. I politely told him that I didn’t want to give him my number and went on to ask him to please leave me alone because I just wanted to spend time by myself. After he insisted, I gave him my Instagram handle and asked him to leave, which he did.”

But that wasn’t the end. The man and his two friends came over to Kholeka’s table again.

“I didn’t notice the other two men because the guy who came up to me earlier was bothering me. At one point, I got so annoyed and ended up having an attitude – they eventually left after one of the men told me, ‘I’m going to see you, whether you like it or not.’That’s when the other guys spiked my drink, from what I later saw on the CCTV footage the restaurant gave me.”

Kholeka then finished her meal and drink, and then asked for the bill. As she was walking out, she felt something unusual.

“I felt very dizzy, so I sat down at a bench. This one lady asked me if I was okay before I puked all over myself, which was very embarrassing,” she says.

Alarmed and scared, Kholeka went up to a lady and threw herself and all her belongings on her and managed to say “there’s a man who’s…” before losing consciousness. 

“I remember waking up in an ambulance with the lady I had asked to help me sitting right there with me. They took me to the hospital, and the doctor told me how lucky I was to be alive,” she shares.

“Later on, I learned from my mother that the lady had used my face to unlock my phone and call my last dialled number, which was boyfriend's. He called my mother, and they both came to me. If it weren’t for that kind stranger who believed me and never left me, I probably would’ve been dead now. She didn’t let anyone close me until she was sure that I was safe – words cannot describe how grateful I am for her,” Kholeka explains. 

Now, Kholeka is recovering, although she sometimes suffers from migraines as a result of the drugs she was given.

“My mother is planning to take me to a therapist because of the trauma; I think it’s a good idea,” she says.

Kholeka says although going through this ordeal was scary for her, she hopes that more people will believe and help girls who seem drunk and lost because sometimes their drinks could be spiked. 

Kholeka wrote a thread on Twitter, telling her story. She says she’s still shocked at how many people don’t believe her, especially the women.

However, that won’t stop her from raising awareness that could help a potential victim.

The restaurant later sent her the footage from the time she was there, and it shows the men coming up to her table and the one sitting next to her. The last clip shows Kholeka packing up her belongings and leaving the establishment.

How to know if your drink was spiked:

The symptoms of having ingested a spiked drink include feeling disorientated, hallucinating and vomiting. In extreme cases, a spiked drink could lead to death.

Here’s what to do if you suspect your drink has been spiked:

Call an ambulance immediately on 10177 from a landline, or 112 from a cellphone.

If you're out with a group of friends, let someone know how you're feeling and ask them to stay with you until help arrives or you get assistance.

If you are on your own, try to speak to the manager or — if you are able to — contact the police.

You will need to get medical attention as soon as possible and let the doctors know that you think your drink has been spiked. Blood and urine tests will usually be able to identify the drug in your system.

Though it isn’t a permanent cure, drinking charcoal water might help flush out the drugs in spiked drinks, according to Buzzfeed. So, carrying it around might not be such a bad idea.

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