Estelle [surname redacted] a survivor of a horrific attack tells her story of hate crime in South Africa.
On the Monday morning of October 8, 2001, at 9:30, our gardener John came to me for food. As usual, I gave him food and a cup of coffee. He sat on the steps in front of the back door and ate. I trusted him because he was a good person in my opinion. Always decent and polite to our family. I was busy in the kitchen when he came in and placed the plate and cup on the zink.
When he turned around and locked the door from the inside, I knew there was trouble!
John grabbed me and without warning stabbed me between my eyes. He cut me open from the right corner of my left eye to the left side of my ear. He then stabbed me twice more under my left eye. Then he stabbed me in the middle of my nose and cut me open to the middle of my left cheek. Then he stabbed me twice under my right eye.
I pleaded with God and said: Lord, Your Word says: You will never leave or forsake me, please do not leave me today. I immediately felt two arms around me. It’s an indescribable feeling. It’s THE BIGGEST LOVE, that held me.
After that, John stabbed me in my upper lip and lower lip. Blood streamed down my face. I was in pain but only had one thing on my mind and that was to stay alive until my husband and kids came home.
I was willing to let go, but I wanted to see my husband and kids one last time.
Then John stabbed me in the neck and cut my throat stopping short of the main artery. Then he tied a piece of cloth around my neck. I believe his plan was to later strangle me with it. Then John stabbed me twice on the right side of my nose. As I tried to stop him, he almost cut off my right thumb. He stabbed me in my left hand and the blade went right through my hand. I sustained a bunch of wounds on my arms and body as I tried to stop the attack.
Then John cut a stretch of fabric that lay on my desk in half and tied my two hands tightly together. He did the same with my feet. I was paralyzed by that time, I had no more strength and I was bleeding terribly. He took a bunch of rags and stuffed them in my mouth. Then he wrapped another elastic bandage around my head so that my face was covered – so tight that my nose was flattened.
Then he tore my clothes off my body to rape me.
I got strength from above to fight with everything in me. I still felt the arms of God around me. First, my one foot came loose and then my one hand. The blood flowed over my face in such a way that the bandages were quickly soaked with blood. I began struggling to breathe. I kept pleading with God not to go or leave me. I felt very weak. John was very angry because he could not rape me and because I got loose. He slapped me and spat on me and said terrible things to me. Then he ordered me to lie on the floor.
I pleaded for the blood of JESUS to cover my body.
While lying on the ground, John threw a duvet over me so that my face was covered. He went to fetch my son’s exercise weight of 26 kg and threw it on my head to finally kill me. I felt God holding me and I did not lose consciousness. Then the blood flowed out of me. My mouth was full of blood. My lips stuck together and I was in a lot of pain.
I felt at that moment how life was running out of me.
I then asked God to just spare me until my husband and children came home.
Then I asked John to please bring me water to rinse my mouth. He walked to fetch water and I crawled to my cell phone. It was the older type with buttons. As I tried to dial, I discovered, I’m blind.
God helped me to be able to call.
I called my husband’s work and told him to come right away. John returned with a bottle of water and threw it at me. He was standing at the fridge eating. Then I told him where the keys to the safe were, telling him to take everything in the safe and anything in the house he wants. Just please leave me alone now. Then he took all our money in the safe and my cellphone.
That was when my husband arrived at the house. When John heard my husband call, he fled out the back door.
As he left, I shouted at him, “I forgive you for what you have done to me.”
My husband found me on the floor, I told him it was John and my husband ran after him. This was when Pastor Zezito Epifanio arrived. He went to get a towel in the bathroom to cover my naked body.
He sat with me and said, “As God was holding you this morning, so HE is going to hold you now.” YOU WILL NOT DIE !!!
My husband returned and took me to the doctor. The doctor told him, I have very little chance to survive. After they took care of me, the doctor said I would NEVER be able to see again. I said to myself, that’s not what God promised. My jawbones were wired together and I got 58 stitches and on my arms, neck, and hands. I just wanted to go home.
I talked to God every day and asked Him to please restore my eyes. After seven and a half months, my eyesight began to return.
I have lost much of my sight, but I am thankful to God, that I can see a little again. God not only healed my body but also my eyes. I can work again and I enjoy doing things for myself and others.
John was sentenced to 14 years in prison, of which he served only seven.
SOURCE: Facebook – translated from Afrikaans
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