A 25-year-old woman, Zizipho Nikita Kalubi from Somerset West in Cape Town, South Africa has lost her left eye after she was attacked by a man for allegedly rejecting his advances.
Kalubi said on Saturday, August 26, 2023, at about 2pm, she was returning from running errands with her boyfriend when they came across the alleged perpetrator, a man she had seen only a handful of times in Khayelitsha Town Two, and he began harassing her.
Speaking to newsmen on Friday, September 1, Nikita said the man started by catcalling her and making crude remarks, as he did every time he saw her.
“As a young woman, I’m not a stranger to how men can harass you, so when he started saying ‘Hey s3xy, I want you’, making his crude remarks, I ignored it and continued to walk with my boyfriend,”
”He once tried to touch me, but I never thought he would be so bold with my boyfriend next to me. However, that day he only got worse and even walked up to us.
“Seeing how bad it was getting, my boyfriend asked him to leave me alone, and I thought he would stop so we continued walking. We’d been walking for just a few metres when he suddenly appeared in front of us again, and this time I couldn’t ignore that he was right there, because before I knew it, he slammed a brick into my face so hard that I fell back and lost consciousness,” she said.
Kalubi said she doesn’t remember what happened immediately after the attack and woke up being rushed to Khayelitsha Hospital, where her wounds were cleaned up and she received stitches before being transferred to Tygerberg Hospital for further assistance.
“At Tygerberg, they told me that my left eye was severely damaged, that it was so bad it would have to be removed. They also told me my nose was fractured.
“My mom, whom I had called at some point during the ordeal, thought we should get a second opinion. She took me to Vergelegen Hospital here in Somerset, only to be told the same thing, my left eye needed to be removed.”
On Tuesday, August 28, she underwent surgery to remove her left eye. She is now waiting for her wounds to heal before the hospital puts in place an artificial eye.
Commenting on Kalubi’s ordeal, Harare Community Action Network (CAN) Founder Khanya Qongqo said: “As someone who advocates against the abuse of women and children, I was deeply touched by Nikita’s story, how in just a twinkle of an eye you can end up being part of GBV statistics.
“It is disgusting and sobering that as women we cannot peacefully walk to the shops, constantly living in fear of what could happen to us, and the fact that this happened during Women’s Month is so disheartening.”