While Sen Govender’s seven wounds to her shoulder, neck and forehead are still fresh, she is said to be ready to stand by her son, Pregalathan, 34, who is facing a charge of attempted murder.
According to a relative, last Sunday Pregalathan was at his Orient Park home and became angry after he misplaced his bank card. Govender, 65, a mother of two, was also unable to locate it.
She was then stabbed with a pair of scissors.
A neighbour, who heard the commotion, intervened, the relative, John Govender, said.
She was taken to the hospital, while her son allegedly fled the family home in his car.
Members of the area’s community policing forum later found him in a car park.
He appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court last Tuesday and was remanded in police custody. His formal bail application is scheduled for next week.
John Govender said his aunt had spent Mother’s Day yearning for Pregalathan.
“It has been a rough time for all of us,” he said.
“This is not a gruesome story where he wanted to cause harm to his mother. We believe it is something that occurred because Pregs could have been upset. He has a history of mental illness.”
He said in 2006, while studying towards a BCom degree, he had fallen into a depression.
“Pregs battled with depression for a long time and has gone through years of therapy.”
He added that while his aunt remained committed to standing by him, they hoped Pregalathan received the help he needed.
“My cousin’s mental health is deteriorating, and he is at a fragile state. We hope he can go for an assessment and get the long-term help he would need. He needs to also face up to what he has done.
“His mother told us that she would like to have him in her care when, or if, he is released. But we advised her that it would be best that he gets help from a professional at a treatment centre.”
He added that people on social media have labelled his cousin a “druggie” who was “high” when he committed the offence. “This has hurt the family. They are judging Pregs, but no one understands what he is going through. He is a humble, kind and loving person, who would never do things to upset anyone.
“It’s upsetting to the family that he is being made out to look like a monster, when all he needs is help.”