Born 3 February 1978, Palesa Maphosa had no idea what life had in store for her. She was diagnosed with uterine cancer at the tender age of 16. Experienced brutal domestic violence at the mercy of her first husband and was raped horrifically in a taxi by seven men assisted by two women. Fortunately for Palesa, her story has a happy ending. Because the uterine cancer was in it’s early stages, it was dealt with so she was able to conceive later in life. Today her son is 17 years old and her daughter is 15.
However Palesa’s life has had more than it’s fair share of heartache and heartbreak. Thursday 25 August 2005 is a day that Palesa will never forget because her world was turned upside down leaving her depressed and suicidal. She was abducted, robbed of all her savings and repeatedly raped by 7 men in Rustenburg who later dumped her almost lifeless body in an open field in Tembisa on Monday 29 August 2005. Although it’s been 12 years later Palesa clearly recalls,” What saved me was the Vodacom Look4me app. After they dumped me in Tembisa I had no idea where I was but since I had that app, I was located within the 72 hours of being raped, got tested and given tablets to prevent me from getting HIV/AIDS. But even when those men were raping me, I distinctly remember reciting Psalm 23 and later Psalm 91 from The Bible. I’m speaking out about it now because I’m healed and I want my voice to be counted among those who stand against the increased abuse, crime and violence committed against women.”
Palesa is currently writing a book of her encounter to share her story and hopefully inspire other women in similar situations to overcome their circumstances and to come out victorious.
When asked what helped her heal from all the trauma Palesa Maphosa credits her faith in God, counselling and her two children being her world and daily motivation. She calmly says,”The scars on my body don’t define my character, but they define my life’s journey.”