Every day without fail Edith September wakes up in fear in a wendy house in Mitchells Plain.
She is an emergency child carer, looks after six children, and is a victim of gender-based violence.
As we sit in the lounge, the young children clear up the room area. They’re friendly and polite, each with a smile on their face.
They are well taken care of by September. She is passionate about helping people in her community, particularly children. But there is one thing that makes her nervous, anxious, and scared: her 22-year-old son. She said he assaults her physically and abuses her emotionally and verbally.
Her son is part of a gang and often steals his mother’s belongings. “When he can’t get things right, or when I confront him, he gets violent”.
September explained he recently tried to steal a packet of toilet paper, and she reprimanded him – and became violent.
“He dragged me from the kitchen onto the bed and choked me. I was so scared – I thought I would die because I was alone with him. But eventually, my daughter came to assist me.”
They argued at her place in May, and he choked her again.
September said the police arrived five hours later and instructed her to go to the hospital.
“At that stage, I didn’t want to go to the hospital, I was no longer in pain, and when I wanted to make a case, they didn’t want me to open one.”
The next day she applied for an interdict. She is due to appear in court on 29 August 2022. She said that papers were issued to her son, but she has no documentation, only an SMS indicating that a file has been opened and that she is due to appear in court.
The community worker says it’s not the first time he has assaulted her.
“I was thrown and dragged out of this place like a pocket of potatoes. I had a screwdriver at my neck. I had a knife to my breast. Sadly the list goes on.”
Two weeks ago, he was again at the house. This time he wanted to hit his mother using a spade.
“I told him to get out, and he got angry, he wanted to hit me with a spade, and I said to him, ‘you can’t keep hitting mommy like this; if you want to hurt me, do it outside! He then smashed the windows. So my husband opened a case of property damage.”
September said she called the police, but until today no one turned up.
“We called 10111, but we are still waiting. The police have failed us.”
She said she wants to live in peace, without stress or, more importantly, in fear.
September has mandated Action Society to assist with further investigation on the matter and with prosecution oversight and prosecution.
Action Society has a good relationship with investigators and prosecutors in the Western Cape and will do our utmost for victims of gender-based violence to get justice.
September is one of the thousands of women in South Africa who face these dangers daily. Become a member of Action Society to support victims of gender-based violence.