Jus­tice

CityPress - - News - POLOKO TAU poloko.tau@city­press.co.za

Bare­foot and in a dress drenched in blood flow­ing from her right eye, Josina Machel – the daugh­ter of for­mer first lady Graça Machel – was on her knees plead­ing for help at a pub­lic hos­pi­tal in Ma­puto, the cap­i­tal of Mozam­bique. Not even her fam­ily name could help her jump the queue – even in this emer­gency. For three hours, she screamed and groaned in pain.

Her boyfriend, Mozam­bi­can busi­ness­man Rofino Lu­cico, had un­leashed a blow that pierced her eye dur­ing a vi­o­lent ar­gu­ment which took place on Oc­to­ber 17 2015, her mother’s 70th birth­day.

Abroad at the time, Graça had ex­pected the usual sweet birth­day mes­sage from her first-born daugh­ter, but the one she re­ceived in­formed her Josina was alone, blood-soaked and help­less.

Af­ter he bat­tered her, Lu­cico dropped her off at the pub­lic hos­pi­tal and left with her cell­phone.

“I was on my knees, beg­ging peo­ple to help me. I told them I was Josina Machel, the daugh­ter of [late Mozam­bi­can pres­i­dent] Samora and Graça Machel, and it did not help. When he ar­rived at the hos­pi­tal, my brother did not have to ask where I was – he ran down the cor­ri­dors, fol­low­ing the di­rec­tion where my scream­ing was com­ing from,” she told City Press on Fri­day.

This was only the be­gin­ning of Josina’s “gru­elling” 16-month or­deal. From un­der­go­ing nu­mer­ous med­i­cal pro­ce­dures in South Africa and abroad to try to save her sight, to em­bark­ing on a ti­tanic strug­gle for jus­tice, this was the most dif­fi­cult time of her life.

Three weeks af­ter her at­tack, she dis­cov­ered her state­ment and med­i­cal records were miss­ing from the po­lice docket. With­out them, it would be im­pos­si­ble to prove her case in court.

“I had to go back and restart the process, and back at the same hos­pi­tal they told me to prove that I was

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