A victim of long-term gender-based violence (GBV) – who was beaten, threatened with murder and shot – says if it were not for Masimanyane Women’s Rights International, she would be dead.
Lindelwa Ntanta (59), an East London resident, went through 18 years of abuse at the hands of her ex-husband, who she finally managed to divorce in 2018.
She says his abuse led to one of her three children committing suicide. It started with psychological and verbal abuse but quickly escalated to physical assault.
She says: “I got a protection order against him and he was told not to come to my house. Within a few days, he broke the order and I had him arrested. After he was released, he came back with a gun and shot me in the legs, saying that he was going to kill me.”
Over the years, despite not living with them anymore, he continued to harass the family, often targeting the spaza shop Ntanta ran by destroying her stock.
Ntanta says Masimanyane Women’s Rights International, an NGO funded by the Department of Social Development, has provided tremendous support over the years. The Masimanyane team helped Ntanta obtain several protection orders over the years, assisted her with counselling and in getting her granddaughter’s school fees reduced.
“I am alive because they have protected me from my abuser. Even now, they are assisting me with legal matters as my ex-husband is trying to sell the house we live in,” says Ntanta.
Masimanyane is an anti-GBV organisation that has been in existence since 1996. It has offices in Mdantsane and East London Magistrate’s Courts, as well as staff based at the Fleet Street, Buffalo Flats and Duncan Village police stations.
Community project manager for Masimanyane, Buyiswa Mhambi, says the organisation offers support services to victims of abuse, including counselling, shelter, abuse awareness and computer and craft skills.
“The reason we have offices at police stations is so that we can help GBV victims the moment they go to report a case,” says Mhambi.
Visit Masimanyane Women’s Rights International’s office in Scenery Park township or go to their website: www.masimanyane.org.za