Saturday, December 4, 2010

Real Life Women Superheroes - Name Unknown

I came across a story about forgiveness in a book a while ago. The name of the woman in the story is never revealed, but her strength of character brought tears to my eyes. The story is set in South Africa, and she is black.

A man named Van der Broek, a white police officer, brutally murdered her son and set him on fire, while his officers stood nearby.
A few years later, Van der Broek returned and murdered her husband. For months she has no idea what had happened to her husband or where he was.
2 years later, Van der Broek returned for the woman herself. Van der Broek took her to the river where she saw her husband bound, but strong in spirit. The men poured gasoline on his body and set him on fire, she heard her husband's dying words, "Father, forgive them."

I'm not sure how the woman got away, but years later she is invited to speak at his trial, during sentencing. By this point, she is a member of the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The court asks her what she wants, what in her mind is justice. She asks for three things.

1) To be taken to the place where her husband's body was burned so she could gather up the ashes and bury him properly.
2) She requested that Van der Broek become her son. She lost her her's, she wanted him to come and visit her in the ghetto twice a month to spend the day with her. She wanted someone to pour her love on in the absense of her child.
3) In honour of her husband's last words, she requested to be taken across the courtroom to Van der Broek so she could hug him and show him that he was truly forgiven.

Van der Broekn fainted.


Tiffany said...

Thank you for sharing this! I needed all of it today for so many reasons~ thank you!!

Teddi said...

rock on! enough said.

felix and lily said...

I dont understand why she forgave Van der Broek? Didnt he murder her son and husband?