Durban - Struck on the back of the head by a brick thrown at her car during a violent service delivery protest on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, a young woman is bravely fighting for her life.
Sashni Daniel, 27, a sales consultant for a jewellery store, sustained a fractured skull, three blood clots on her brain and internal swelling after coming under attack last week.
She is in a critical condition and on life support at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban.
Daniel, of KwaDukuza (Stanger), was a passenger in a VW Golf driven by her boyfriend’s nephew and travelling from oThongathi (Tongaat) on the R102 near Shaka’s Head when rocks and bricks were thrown at the car.
Residents of a nearby township had been without electricity for 11 hours after the KwaDukuza Local Municipality’s electricians had allegedly been stopped from working overtime.
About 10 vehicles were stoned by the disgruntled mob at about 9pm.
Daniel’s disabled father, Kovlan, told POST he had not yet built up the courage to see his daughter in hospital.
“This is a very tough time for our family. She went to have surgery on Friday night and only came out at 3am on Saturday morning. Since then she has been slipping in and out of consciousness.
“I cannot bear to see her suffering. I have been told she is in a lot of pain when she is awake. It breaks my heart that I cannot take her pain away. All we can do is pray for her recovery,” he said.
Kovlan added his only daughter is also the family’s bread-winner.
“I am disabled and have been diagnosed with polio which does not allow me to work. My daughter has never left my side and has taken care of our home.”
The distraught father said no-one from the local municipality had bothered to visit his family.
“What has happened is because of the municipality and their lack of service delivery.
"Although we do not condone the protest action, the municipality should have addressed the people as to why they did not have electricity. This could have saved my child from being so callously injured,” he said.
“The councillor has not even come to our home to offer us any support. My child is fighting for her life, however, life continues for the rest.”
Sashni’s aunt, Patricia Daniel, who described her niece as bubbly and caring, told POST that family want someone to take responsibility.
“Nobody seems to be owning up. This was an illegal protest, the family needs answers. We have even tried to contact KwaDukuza Mayor, Njabulo Ricardo Mthembu, but have yet to receive any help,” she said.
The 19-year-old driver was not hurt but was traumatised by the incident and could not speak to POST. Police said no arrests had been made.