Ndileka Mandela comes out about rape

Sexual abuse: Grandchild says she's following Mandela's example

25 October 2017 - 07:32 By Philani Nombembe
Ndileka Mandela. File photo.
Ndileka Mandela. File photo.

Nelson Mandela's eldest granddaughter has joined a growing list of women who have spoken up about being a victim of sexual assault or harassment.

Ndileka Mandela set social media abuzz recently when she revealed her secret on Facebook. She said she was raped five years ago by her former boyfriend in her bedroom.

She told The Times on Tuesday that she was following in her grandfather's footsteps by speaking about a personal ordeal.

"He was willing to announce to the world the loss of his son, my uncle Makgatho, to HIV/Aids," Ndileka said. "Granddad did this to unite the world to take urgent action to address this illness, which knows no boundaries of race, status, age or gender.

"This was at a time when there was a great stigma with regard to HIV/Aids.

"Similarly, I am raising my personal experience with sexual abuse to remove the stigma, to be a voice for those who are unable to raise their voice and as a call for concerted action by all to eradicate this plague from society."

Ndileka's post read: "August 9th 2012 is a day that will remain etched in my mind. That is the day my - partner (ex, now) raped me.

"Yes RAPED. A lot of men still think that rape between partners is a strange phenomenon.

"The day started well until I had lunch with my partner [and talked] about his finances or lack thereof. In retrospect, I think the assault was a lesson for me to never question him again.

"The conversation ended quite well or so I thought. Later that evening when the security at the gate were buzzing my unit to find out if they should let him in, I said 'yes' even when my gut told me not to (something I never do any more, ignoring my gut).

"He came up to my bedroom and I told him I was tired and wanted to sleep. He went down stairs. to watch a game with my son. He came up to bed later and started kissing me, I told him to stop as I was premenstrual and my breasts were tender and I just wanted to sleep.

"He did not listen, continued to kiss me while taking my underwear off. He kept my arms pinned above my head as he penetrated me. I said no so many times. He kept thrusting over and over again and I started crying.

"He still would not stop until I promised him I would never refuse him sex ever again. Being the stubborn person I can be when I'm right I kept refusing through my tears.

"He only stopped when I began sobbing uncontrollably. I could not scream as I did not want my son to find me in that compromising position. Yes, I never reported for the same reason most women do not report what has been described [as] acquaintance rape.

"I will not be silent. Rape knows no social class, colour or creed."