The trauma and intense pain are the unfortunate experiences of the victim of acid bath.
The life of Terence Mabena has changed drastically since his ex-lover, following an argument, allegedly threw acid over his face and chest.
The incident, which occurred in June last year, left 31-year-old Mabena with serious injuries. He was in ICU, and his life has completely changed.
Reliving the ordeal which has left him scarred and unable to work as an electrician, Mabena said that following the heated argument that day, he sat on the couch.
Not long afterwards he felt a substance on his face and chest, with an agonising burning sensation and his ex-lover ran out of the house.
Battling to see properly, Mabena crawled out the house to ask for help and was rushed to hospital.
A case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm was opened, but was marred with delays which left his family frustrated.
The ball finally started rolling on January 24 when the charges were changed from assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm to attempted murder. The alleged perpetrator has since been arrested.
“My life has not been the same since the attack. I cannot do any of the activities I used to do, I cannot even be in the sun for too long.
“I used to work as an electrician; now I just spend my days indoors. It’s a daunting and depressing life I am living. I am constantly going back and forth. Still in major pain, the doctors have said I will not live more than three or four years because of the internal injuries from the acid
“They had to pump acid out of my eyes; I am lucky to be able to still see. I feel empty and do not feel any joy.
“I feel I will get justice, I am glad the law saw that these injuries are way too bad to be just an assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, but constitute attempted murder. She really wanted to kill me.”
His mother, Dudu said the family was happy the charges were changed and that her son would see justice.
“The prosecutor broke down when she looked at his ID photo and looked at him now. She said there was no way this could just be assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.”
She said the delays were frustrating and at times left her hopeless, but she is glad there is progress in the matter.
“He will get justice, but should he have even been attacked in such a way? Now we are in need of him to get plastic surgery but have no one to help. He still sleeps in pain daily and it does not give me any peace.
“We received a lot of support, and this gave me strength, and it was joy when they changed the charges in the room, we will see this through.”
Dudu said she was glad he still received visits from his friends, cousins and other family. “It pains all of us to see him this way. I hurt daily seeing him this way. His grandmother died because of stress and depression when this happened.
“I also feel helpless with the years that they have given him to live; I cannot do anything to save my own child.
“I am trying to come to terms with it. We tried to hide it from him as well, but he told me he knows and said he is going to join a local society club so we can bury him. Do you know how painful it is to hear those words?”