Drowning blamed on daughter
A DISABLED grandmother was allegedly drowned by her daughter while her four-year-old grandson looked on.
Fifty-four-year-old Refilwe Monamodi’s body was found floating face up in her swimming pool in Kempton Park, on the East Rand, at the weekend.
Her 33-year-old daughter was arrested only a few hours later at a shopping centre close to her mother’s Glen Marais home on Sunday. She will appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court today, according to police spokesman Captain Jethro Mtshali.
The allegation of murder has once again put the abuse of the elderly and disabled in the spot- light. One NGO has warned that there is huge under-reporting of such incidents because victimisation is feared.
The dead woman, an advocate, was partially disabled in a car accident in 2002.
Her body was found by her sister, Agnes Monamodi.
Agnes Monamodi said problems started between mother and daughter when the daughter left her job.
“She got Nigerian friends and her life started to unravel. I used to come here every second month to resolve their conflicts. At times I would find my sister had been assaulted and left with black eyes.”
Monamodi said she would usually take her sister away from the house to defuse the situation but Refilwe would always go back.
She said a number of complaints to the police had been made by her sister against her niece.
“They fought over bank cards. The daughter would demand that her mother allow her to withdraw funds. The daughter had everything. She drove her mother’s two cars and had a stable home but she still wanted money.”
She said that in December the two had a big fallout.
“I rushed here in December and found that she had assaulted my sister. [Refilwe] could not open her eyes and she had to stay in hospital for three days. A week later, I heard they were on holiday in Magaliesburg. I felt like a fool.”
Monamodi’s elder sister, Patricia, said that the alleged murder had taken place in front of her grandson and he would occasionally talk about it.
“The child needs counselling. Now and then he talks about what happened.”
She said her sister would always protect her daughter.
“She was in denial. She protected her daughter all the time and it was difficult to intervene.
“Their relationship was okay until after the [road] accident.”
Irene Snell-Carroll, Age in Action’s Western Cape director, said there were no official figures for the abuse of the elderly.
“Some months we receive a high number of reports and other times not so many. It fluctuates and this could be because people do not necessarily report these incidents.
“We are aware that there are possibly more cases that are not reported because of fear of victimisation.”
She said the violence was not always the kind that resulted in people seeking hospital treatment. Most often it involved slapping.
“Emotional abuse and neglect is also a big factor and we know that there is also an economic element to this abuse.”
‘ I would find my sister had been assaulted and left with black eyes