From the archives | ‘I thought he was dead’: Soweto mom on being reunited with son after 12 years

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Sandile did not leave home by choice, but he is glad to be back and to try and make things work with his step father.
Sandile did not leave home by choice, but he is glad to be back and to try and make things work with his step father.
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They thought he died many years ago. He disappeared from his home in Jabulani, Soweto when he was 17 years old; leaving his two siblings behind, as well as his mom and stepfather.

Sandile Shozi (29) had enough of the verbal and physical abuse at the hands of his stepfather. “My stepfather used to tell me I would never amount to anything. He made sure I felt that I was not his child,” says Sandile.

Both his younger female siblings are his stepfather’s biological children. “They love me, but their father was the problem,” he says. “I would get beaten for small things like leaving my plate in the sink, forgetting to hang my face cloth or coming home late. He would say my mother spoils me and that I am going to be a drunkard like my father.” 

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