2013 Aug. 20: Lesbian Activist Survives Stabbing

Report by Thekwane Bongi Mpisholo

14th Aug. 2013: Johannesburg

A black lesbian activist aged 26 was attacked and stabbed by one of the elderly men in her neighbourhood, in her township of Vosloorus.
The incident occurred five days after National Women’s Day celebrations.
44 days later, the body of 26-year-old Duduzile Zozo was found half naked and brutally murdered in Katlehong (Ekurhuleni), East of Johannesburg.

At 19h15 on Wednesday, Matlatse “Sweeto” Makgai had R3 ZAR with her and decided to go to the nearest Spaza shop, which is situated, on the same street as her house (Roets Drive) to buy cigarettes. Just as she placed her order she saw Mr X, a man in his fifties, and greeted him as they normally did when passing each other.

The Horrific Scenes

Mr X:                        Asihambe siyolala (Let us go and have sex)
Sweeto:                 Hayi wena ngiyeke (Leave me alone!!!)
Mr X:                        Uzongihlabisa nini (When will you give me a shag?)
Sweeto:                 Ungangihlanyeli wena (Are you mad?)
Mr X:                        Asihambe uyongihlabisa, uzongiphanini kanti? (Lets go, when will you give me some pussy?)

Sweeto:                 Ngicela ungiyeke toe (Just leave me alone please)

Mr X:                        Kudala ngikufuna mos wena (I have been wanting to fuck you for a long time)
Sweeto:                 Uyagula wena, ungifuna ini na? (You are mad what is it that you want from me)
Mr X:                        Nginayo imali mos.
[Taking money out of his left jacket pocket]
I have cash so we can go fuck
[as he shows her the folded notes she could not make out what amount it was]

The most painful and scary hours of Sweeto’s life were about to unfold, as she grabbed the money from him then threw it toward the next yard.
He then retaliated started punching and kicking her on different parts of her body.
Mr X. continued doing this whilst swearing at her saying, “Now that you threw my cash away I am going to fuck you for free!” She fought back as hard as she possibly could. However, she stood no chance.

The wounded activist at Con Hill where she attended JhP People's Pride launch on the 17th Aug. 2013. Photo by Thekwane Bongi Mpisholo

The wounded activist at Con Hill where she attended JhP People’s Pride launch on the 17th Aug. 2013.
Photo by Thekwane Bongi Mpisholo

Thwarting her efforts of self-defence, he grabbed her tightly, gripping her neck with his folded arm while dragging her backwards. At that specific moment, what was going through Sweeto’s mind was not to be taken to the next location, so she fought even harder than before. Although she was panicking and scared, she tried to remain focused.
“The shop owner was just standing there not saying a thing, as if he were a statue” she says as she relays how it was only the three of them in the shop.

“During the fight, a knife fell out of the back pocket of his pants. I saw it then struggled to get it away from him but my efforts were in vain because he was taller and had an advantage. He then got hold of it and stabbed me on my left hand,” she said.

The reason her arm was stabbed was that she used it as a shield, in an attempt to block the knife from stabbing other parts of her body. She then immediately bound the wound with a hat she was wearing, as it was bleeding profusely.
She pleaded with him to let her go but he refused saying “You are coming with me today”. When he attempted to stab her in the stomach, he missed and instead the knife scraped the wall and created some sparks.

Then a guardian angel walked into the shop (one of the local women) and asked if they were playing or fighting. Mr X replied by saying Sweeto was trying to rob him of his money. The man exclaimed, “I want my money!” in a blatant attempt to change his story.
The victim replied “You will get your money from the person you wanted to buy sex from”. Then the lady asked where the cash was, only to find it lying on the ground next door, picked it up and gave it to the man.

Sweeto never saw how much the amount was and quickly took the chance to run away while her attacker was distracted.
She ran home to find her grandmother who asked her what was wrong and called the police, who arrived in about 15 minutes. Upon their arrival, they asked her if she knew her attacker and she responded by saying that she did. She got inside the van and they rushed to Mr X’s house and found him standing outside the gate showing no remorse for what he had done, both his hands in his pockets.

The police searched him for a knife but did not find anything. They asked him what had really happened and he responded by saying: “This kid was trying to take my money” and when asked where the money was, he replied, “I have it” as he removed an amount of R50 ZAR (two R20 notes and one R10 note) from his pocket. “At this time I was surprised because this man wanted to buy sex from me for this amount of money.” 

At that moment Mr X’s sister came to intervene and said, “No my brother does not carry a knife and he has a wife. I know you Sweeto why don’t we talk about this and solve it like neighbours.” “ I personally will pay for you medical bill” Mr X’s sister said to Sweeto.

Sweeto was told to get in the police van so they could go to her house. She thought she was being accompanied to fetch a jersey as she was getting cold, and that she would later be taken to the police station and to Jay Dumani Clinic in Vosloorus.
The policewoman and man were arguing as to whether they should carry on or not. The police woman was saying that Sweeto was a complainant who needed to be attended to and that she had a right to lay a charge and open a case; while her male colleague refused, saying that Sweeto was just playful, her injuries were not serious and that she could take care of it in the morning, whilst telling her to go sleep. She left the two arguing to go inside her house. The sad part is that neither of them had nametags on.

A couple of minutes later Mr X. and the sister came to ask her grand0mother for permission to have a word with her. The sister then told Sweeto to state the amount that she wanted to avoid charges being laid against her brother. She replied by saying the only number she wanted to see was a case number, not money. I conclude by stating that it is woman’s month she should lead by example.

She then called the 112 number for an ambulance and it arrived and took her to Natalspruit Hospital where she waited until she was attended to. She was asked what had happened and she related the entire ordeal. She received a couple of shots and the wound was treated as she was told that it was septic. She was then stitched four times on her left hand between the thumb and index figure.
She was then plastered up and bandaged. “I was finished being attended to at around 12 am Thursday morning, yet I was stabbed Wednesday night”.

“That very Thursday morning I went back home to fetch money for transport and went to the Vosloorus Police Station to fetch the J 88 form.” She recalls that the form was given to her with limited information: only Vosloorus written on it with no name of the investigating officer or any statement of the injuries she had sustained.
“I immediately went to the hospital with the form. At the hospital I was told to take it back to the police station as the police had not done their job properly. I went back to the police station where Officer Alice assisted me. I showed her where the hospital needed information”

“The form was only filled when I refused to be sent back and forth between hospital and police station. Eventually I went home still in pain and had not slept a wink while I was at the benches at the hospital waiting rooms. I went back to the hospital again and found a long queue awaiting me.
Finally, I was attended by the hospital clerk who asked me to pay 20 ZAR. I replied by saying I do not have it. Unfortunately in government hospitals if you do not have money to pay you will only be attended after all those who have paid. When I was attended to it was impossible to track the doctor who had stitched me because he did not sign his name on the paper work. By this time I was feeling helpless and tired because I was then told to come back Friday.

Friday morning finally arrived and I went back to the hospital again. This time around I was so angry that I went to the staff rooms and demanded assistance. They eventually tracked down the doctor by checking the register. His name was Dr X. who was on duty that day, he only comes to the hospital on Wednesdays so he can only help me fill the form on the 21 August 13.
They also said I must come after 10 days to remove the cast on 21 August 2013.”

The very men whom we look up to in the society are capable of doing such, and then it makes one wonder what example are they setting for the younger generation?
South Africa is celebrating 19 Years of Democracy and freedom.
Who is this creature called ‘freedom’ if women are constant walking targets?

NB: *We will be posting an update on this story as we closely follow arguments from both sides in the court of law.

Previous by Thekwane

2013 Aug. 5: Amsterdam Pride photos


2013 July 10: When brutally killed, Dudu was stripped every ounce of her dignity

This entry was posted in Africa, Anger, Another Approach Is Possible, Archived memories, Archiving Queer Her/Histories in SA, As we are, Before You, Betrayal, Black Lesbians & Allies Against Hate Crimes, Comment, Community, Community Mobilizing, Complicated Lesbian Relationships, Creating awareness, Evidence, Expression, Family support, Gender naming, Hate Crimes, Homosexuality, Human body, Human rights, Inkanyiso media, Johannesburg People’s PRIDE (JHBPP), Know Your SA Queer History, Lack of Resources, Legal, Life Stories, Love, Public spaces, Readings, ReClaim Your Activism, Relationships, South Africa, South Africa's Freedom Day, Violence, Visual history is a Right not a luxury, Visualizing public spaces, We Are You, Women's power, Writing is a Right, Youth voices and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 2013 Aug. 20: Lesbian Activist Survives Stabbing

  1. Thulisile says:

    Oh my goodness Sweeto I’m glad you ok sweets what a perv that man is shit faces like him should be locked up and the keys thrown far hope you laid a charge #pissed#

  2. Theresa says:

    Tha system is fuckd up, there aint no freedom, if only tym was reversable Nelson Mandela shouldn’t have been president. After he was appointed things jus got worse, how come we harming one another. Jah loves us and Sweeto, he always got ur back. Keep ya head up mah!

  3. Lesiba says:

    Im glad ur ok Sweeto, dont let dis go, fight it till u victorious. Ppl take advantage , wer r nt toys to b played wit. Mr X should b taught a lesson.

  4. khanyi says:

    I just thank god that sweeto is alive.

  5. Pingback: 2013 Aug. 28: Stabbed lesbian survivor – The Saga continues … | inkanyiso.org

  6. Pingback: 2015 March 14: Educational Friday with UCL scholars and allies | inkanyiso.org

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