Woman for­gives dad for killing mom

Di­a­logue ses­sion helps heal 12-year wound

Sowetan - - Front Page - By Boi­tumelo Tshehle North West Cor­re­spon­dent

A 24-year-old woman whose fa­ther killed her mother when she was only 11 years old, for­gave him yes­ter­day.

Kele­bogile Lek­wene told peo­ple at the vic­tim-of­fender di­a­logue ses­sion in Mahikeng, North West that she chose to for­give her fa­ther Gili Bokwa af­ter 12 years.

The di­a­logue ses­sion pro­vided the op­por­tu­nity for parolees to meet face-to-face with their vic­tims or their fam­i­lies at Mma­batho Civic Cen­tre to ask for for­give­ness.

Lek­wene said she never vis­ited her fa­ther in jail be­cause of her anger over what he did, forc­ing her and her sis­ter, who was five at the time, to grow up with­out par­ents.

She said her fa­ther al­ways wrote let­ters to them ask­ing for for­give­ness but she did not care or re­spond to him.

It was only late last year when her fa­ther called her be­fore his pa­role hear­ing and ex­plained why he had killed her mother that she was able to for­give him.

“I could see that he was speak­ing from the depth of his heart. He said he was sorry and I cried,” she said.

Lek­wane re­fused to share the rea­sons her dad had given for com­mit­ting the crime.

Her fa­ther hugged her and said: “I re­ally re­gret what I have done. I killed your mother and made you go through an un­bear­able pain. I am truly sorry.”

The two did not ex­plain how the mur­der hap­pened as they both burst into tears when asked that ques­tion.

Lek­wane said the loss of both par­ents, with dad go­ing to jail, left a void in her life.

“I lost both par­ents at the same time. My mother was dead be­cause my fa­ther killed her. I could not un­der­stand that,” she said.

Lek­wane, who man­aged to pass ma­tric de­spite fall­ing preg­nant in her fi­nal year, said she be­lieved she could have had her de­gree if she did not have to take care of her sis­ter.

Her mother’s fam­ily as­sisted in her up­bring­ing.

She also blamed her preg­nancy on the lack of parental ad­vice.

North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, who led the ses­sions, called on peo­ple to for­give those who had wronged them.

“For­give­ness helps you, the per­son who is of­fended, with in­ter­nal heal­ing and rec­on­cil­ing with your emo­tions.

“It helps you not to have other prob­lems like stress and fa­tigue that might af­fect you neg­a­tively go­ing for­ward...

“It has a neg­a­tive en­ergy, which is drain­ing,” he said.


Mur­der con­vict Gili Bokwa and daugh­ter Kele­bogile Lek­wene have fi­nally rec­on­ciled. Lek­wele has for­given Bokwa, who is serv­ing time in jail, for killing her mother.

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