A 20-year-old woman is recovering in a Durban hospital after police stormed into a flat to rescue her on Tuesday.
Danielle Maistry, a final-year business administration student, is now recovering in Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital.
Images of Maistry’s horrific injuries were posted on social media just hours after she was rescued, sparking outrage in Mariannridge in Pinetown where she was allegedly “held hostage”.
Police broke the gate to get into the flat belonging to her boyfriend Ryle Steenkamp.
Her mother, Michelle Maistry, told TimesLIVE that when she got to the flat, she could not believe her eyes.
“Apparently neighbours called the police. Someone then called my 18-year-old son. He woke me up, shouting that Dani was dying. I got into my car and raced there. My child … her eyes were swollen shut. There was blood everywhere. Her hair was matted with blood. She was slouched on the couch.”
She got her daughter into her car and drove to St Mary’s Hospital.
“I was shaking so badly but I had to get her there. I couldn’t even look in her direction without wanting to scream. I thought my child was going to die.”
On Thursday morning, Maistry was transferred to Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital for an MRI.
“She doesn’t remember what happened,” her mother said. “My daughter is a vibrant, beautiful and loving person. Everyone who knows her will tell you that. She excelled at school and now even as a student while working as a personal assistant has so much going for her. But she just got involved with a bad person. We still are in shock.
“My son became physically ill when he saw his sister. He has been vomiting. I feel like this is not our reality but I want justice for my daughter and we will not rest until she gets it.”
Police spokesperson Capt Nqobile Gwala confirmed that Steenkamp had been arrested and charged with attempted murder.
“It is alleged that on June 2 at 8am, a 20-year-old woman was assaulted by a known suspect at Mariannridge. She was taken to hospital for medical attention. A 37-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with attempted murder. He appeared in the Pinetown magistrate’s court yesterday,” she said.
Steenkamp was remanded at Westville Prison.
Meanwhile the community has planned a march to fight for justice for Maistry. The march is scheduled to take place on Saturday.
DA PR councillor for Mariannridge Marlaine Nair said the community had come together to support Maistry and her family.
“We live in a world where everybody minds their own business. However, where one sees abuse of any kind, it’s imperative that we step up and help victims of abuse in the safest possible way. It requires collective effort to tackle the scourge of abuse.”
TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)