Woman burnt in acid attack ‘by abusive’ husband tells of abuse

Kelebogile Mashigo, 27, suffered burns after her husband poured acid on her. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Kelebogile Mashigo, 27, suffered burns after her husband poured acid on her. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 7, 2024


The Hammanskraal woman, whose husband poured acid on her, on Thursday said she allegedly suffered physical, emotional and spiritual abuse at the hands of the man.

In the incident that shocked the community, Steve Makhubela, 35, from Ga Motla village, apparently poured acid on his wife Kelebogile Mashigo, 27, causing severe burns in her body.

Makhubela was charged with attempted murder. On Thursday, gender-based violence activists led a march to Temba Magistrate’s Court, where he was appearing. They were chanting “no to gender-based violence”. The matter was postponed to June 12.

According to residents, the march was to raise awareness to femicide and gender-based violence.

Mashigo told the Pretoria News she got married to the accused in 2022, and shortly after that she discovered through social media that the husband had a child outside their marriage.

She said she asked him and he denied everything until he decided to confirm it.

“I had anger, because I could not understand why he had to do this. I stayed in the marriage after finding out hoping and change and be remorseful, but he was not,” she said.

She said the husband started abusing her emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

“There was a domestic abuse case that I had reported because the abuse and disrespect got worse,” she said

She said after a month she decided to move back to her home, and that was when the husband started threatening her with calls and text messages.

“On the 18th of March 2024, around 10pm, he came to my parents’ house and pointed at me with a gun. I went and opened the case,” she added.

She said days after she opened the case, it was withdrawn after the police allegedly found that the gun which the suspect handed over did not match the one that he had on him the day of the incident.

Mashigo further said the detective advised her to seek a protection order in April.

“The threats continued even after I had obtained the protection. I decided to tell his mother to talk to him, but I was starting to fear for my life,” she said.

She said on May 15, when she was coming from work, her husband appeared holding a container of acid.

“He poured the acid on my body and only ran away after seeing a neighbour appearing,” she said.

The husband was shortly after arrested. He had initially went to the police, claiming the victim wanted to frame him for pouring acid over her body.

“This incident has damaged even my child as he witnessed the abuse. My family members are also not okay,” she added.

Mashigo said she hoped that justice would be served.

Pretoria News