The Guardian reports:
The daughter of Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, has revealed that she was a victim of domestic abuse that left her blind in one eye.
The incident occurred in Maputo, the Mozambique capital, on 17 October during Graça Machel’s 70th birthday celebration.
Josina Machel and her boyfriend argued after Machel said she wanted to spend the night in the family home in Maputo. After insulting her, he punched her repeatedly in the face, Machel told South Africa’s City Press newspaper.
As Machel has started legal proceedings, the boyfriend cannot be named, although he is understood to be well-known and politically connected. Josina Machel is Graça Machel’s daughter from her previous marriage to the former Mozambican president Samora Machel.
“I was so shocked that I did what everybody does when something happens to you. You don’t turn towards your aggressor,” Josina Machel said.
“You protect yourself and you try to protect your face, but to my surprise, I actually turned towards him and I asked ‘What?’ That is how I got the second jab that blinded me, which ruptured the eye almost immediately. I felt the third one coming and that’s when I ran out of the car, ran away from him.”
She said that she stumbled around a wealthy neighbourhood in Maputo, but no one helped until she passed out.
“It was a horrifying experience. It was one of the loneliest and scariest experiences that one can go through,” Machel said.
She added that her parents’ history of political activism inspired her to share her story.
“I also felt that not standing up in this fight will be an indictment on the legacy of my parents. Papa Madiba [Nelson Mandela] has always defended women’s rights and my mum is the epitome of the significance of fights against injustice against women. So at this point, I have no right to be quiet and not to stand up,” she said.