The father of a woman who was critically injured after protesters threw rocks at passing vehicles, says its devastating to see his daughter in hospital.
Kovilan Daniel, said his daughter Sashnie Daniel, 27, was on a ventilator and in a coma but stable.
She underwent surgery after a rock, thrown by protesters at a vehicle in which she was travelling, hit her on the head.
She had been in the passenger seat, travelling home with a relative, when their vehicle and 10 others were pelted with rocks on the N2 highway on February 25.
The rocks were thrown by protesters from the Shaka's Head area, who were angry as there had been no electricity in their area overnight.
Sashnie, a jewellery salesperson, is the breadwinner in her family and her disabled father said it was extremely difficult to see her “hooked up to all those machines”.
“I went to see her yesterday and could only stand there for two minutes.
"It's heartbreaking to see my child in that condition,” said Kovilan.
He said Sashnie suffered a fractured skull and had three blood clots.
But what was most concerning was the swelling on her brain.
While he was not personally on social media, he said he had heard that there were reports that the family would be switching off Sashie’s life support machines, but he said this was not true.
“As a father, I could never bring myself to do that. There has been no decision or discussion about that in the family or with doctors,” he said.
Tributes and prayers have been shared by dozens of people on social media.
One user said: "Sashnie is in our prayers, with God's grace she will fight this and be strong again”.
Kovilan said he had followed the news of the recent rock-throwing incidents, but “never imagined it would happen to my child,
especially not by community members. Who is accountable for these innocent lives?”
While he believed the rock throwers were responsible for Sashie’s injuries, he also blamed the municipality for not acting fast enough to resolve the electricity fault.
At the time, the KwaDukuza Municipality condemned the “illegal protest”, saying such behaviour “amounts to chaos and criminality”.
The municipality said the power outage – which occurred the day before the protest – was due to a transformer, which supplies Shaka's Head, Etete, Malende and Manor Estate, being damaged by a heavy storm.
Power had been restored the following Tuesday morning.