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