A Mitchells Plain man has been arrested for stabbing his ex-wife and chasing her with an axe because she was dating a new man.
The 41-year-old-mother of four boys says she is lucky to be alive after her ex-husband stabbed her four times on Saturday.
She says they were married under Islamic law and he asked for a divorce in July, although she only received their divorce papers on 12 August.
The family lives at the Rocklands Sports Ground in Mitchells Plain, where they occupy two changing rooms.
She says her ex, who is the caretaker at a local primary school, doesn’t want her to move on with her life.
With her left arm covered in bandages, and stitches on her left cheek, she explains: “In July, he asked for a talaq (divorce), I agreed because our six years of marriage was hell.
“He was always on his phone and always drunk, he abused me, but I never did anything about it because I thought the abuse was minor.
“He would hit me with an iron pole or his fist and this happened in front of my children.
“I was afraid to make a case because I didn’t want to see him arrested.”
She admits she was seeing another man while still married but her husband actually knew about it.
“I had been dating someone for the past two months (since June), but I still lived with my ex.
“On Saturday he was drinking with his friends at a nearby house and I was at my boyfriend’s place with my four-year-old son.
“My son cried to go to his daddy, but daddy didn’t want him. I went home and watched TV with my two sons in the room.
“He went off at me as he usually does when he is drunk, I didn’t take notice of him.
“The next moment he stabbed me in the neck, when he pulled the knife out he cut my cheek, lip and nose, he then stabbed my arm and hand and I wrestled with him.
“He said, ‘vandag maak ek jou vrek’ (today I am going to kill you).”
She says her sons, aged four and eight, called the security guard on the premises and he pulled her ex away.
“I ran as fast as I could, he came after me with an axe, but I managed to hide in a yard in the area.
“I heard him calling for me while banging the axe against the iron railings close by.
“He didn’t even care that people saw him, he wanted me dead, if he found me he would have finished me.”
The man then set their living quarters on fire and tried to throw himself into the fire.
A witness says: “He set the children’s room alight where the ex-wife slept and then as the building was burning, he wanted to stay inside, but other neighbours pulled him out and held him until SAPS came and arrested him.”
Firefighters were called to put out the blaze.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk confirmed the arrest and says cases of attempted murder and arson are being investigated.