As South Africa is taking part in the global 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, a young woman was defenceless when her 60-year-old grandmother allegedly beat her up and burned her with a cigarette on her face and even on the inside of her nose.
Shagnida Hendricks, 20, from Eersterust in the east of Pretoria, was burned on the forehead, above her eyebrow, on the side of her nose and on the inside of her nose. She could not even defend herself as she was holding her three-year-old son, trying to protect him from her grandmother’s “wild attacks”.
The incident happened on Sunday afternoon in the presence of Hendricks’ baby and her 11-year-old brother.
Hendricks complained to her grandmother that her grandmother’s boyfriend wanted to enter the bathroom as she was about to take a bath.
“My grandmother became angry, forced the bathroom door open and said her boyfriend could go in.”
“I said: ‘But Ouma, how could you do this to me while you know that your boyfriend had touched my bum on a previous occasion?’
“My ouma said if he wanted to touch my bum, he can,” Hendricks told The Citizen.
She said her grandmother had chased her boyfriend away in October after she had told her grandmother that he was touching her inappropriately. He then returned this Saturday.
Her grandmother then told her to be gone by the time she got back, got into her car and drove off.
“She returned, grabbed me by the hair, and hit me with a glass bowl on my head. She broke my chest of drawers, taking a piece of wood, and she beat me across my chest, hitting my son on his mouth.
“My ouma then lit a cigarette, grabbed me by the throat and burned me in my face and in my nose. I screamed and cried for her to stop, but she kept on burning me,” Hendricks said, visibly shaken.
In the audio below, the 11-year-old boy can be heard calling for help.
The grandmother’s boyfriend allegedly kicked Hendricks twice while he laughed at her. Hendricks’ younger child frantically sent voice messages to his grandmother for help.
Eersterust Police spokesperson Sergeant Sam Shibambo said the police were investigating a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.