Mother of UKZN graduate describes how she was killed a month before graduation
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DURBAN - WHAT was meant to be one of the proudest moments of her life was instead a tearful occasion for a Vryheid mother when the University of KwaZulu-Natal posthumously awarded her daughter Charlotte Dube a Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree.
Charlotte Dube was killed in a shooting incident in Pretoria just a month before her graduation. Dube was to receive her degree “first class” – with grades above 75%.
Dube’s mother, Fikile Masondo, said her daughter was a bright young woman who was at the start of her career and had been doing her internship in Pretoria.
“My daughter was on her way back home when she died. I was not there, so I do not know exactly what happened, but I was told that she became a victim in a quarrel between a passenger and the driver in a taxi she was in.”
Masondo said when the passenger disembarked he allegedly saw Dube on her phone and shot her.
“Apparently, there was an altercation between the driver and a passenger, I was told that the passenger got off the taxi in the heat of the argument, and when he went out, he saw my daughter talking on the phone, and I am thinking that maybe he thought my daughter was calling the police or something, but I heard that he took out a gun and shot her hand that was holding the phone, and because she was holding the phone towards the ear, the bullet went into her head,” said Masondo.
Masondo described her daughter as a cheerful, focused and loving person.
“Charlotte was forever laughing and telling jokes. She loved people and they loved her back, and there was never a dull moment in her presence. She has always been a top achiever, as the university describes her. Physiotherapy had always been her dream career long before she pursued the course in varsity,” she said.
Dube’s mother said she had a beautiful relationship with her daughter.
“My daughter and I always told beautiful stories about how bright her future is. I wholeheartedly believed all the stories as a parent because I have known her to be nothing less than an
achiever,” said Masondo.
Failing to hold back her tears, Masondo said she had never felt so much pain.
“The world has robbed me of my only hope. My daughter did not know anything, she was just on her way back home when they took her life. I can’t help but cry whenever I see her pictures, sometimes I would even talk to her pictures asking if this is real,” she said.
The staff in the Discipline of Physiotherapy at UKZN paid tribute to Dube at the graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
In honour of Dube, the Discipline of Physiotherapy has established a Charlotte Dube Award for a student who best exemplifies the physiotherapy profession.