never again

Maria Colitz & her late husband Fredrick Colitz

Maria Colitz & her late husband Fredrick Colitz

“Don’t you know he is dead?”

"Freddie was charming and treated me like a real lady," says Maria "We were married for 40 years and had two sons. This photo was taken three years before he died, at our son Freddie's wedding."

Fredrick Colitz suffered from severe depression. He had had a tough life, growing up in foster homes as a child. When he was much older, he needed full-time care." I had a job at Pick n' Pay and Freddie was alone at home with no-one to care for him."

The doctors agreed it would be safer if he had 24-hour care. So, Frederick went to live at Life Esidimeni Randfontein where he stayed for three years. In January 2016, Maria was told Freddie had been moved to Mosego. He died there eight months later.

The staff often tried to prevent Maria from going inside and seeing Freddie.

In mid-July a nurse at Mosego called Maria.

"You better come now because your husband is about to die," she said.

" When I finally got in and saw him I nearly got a heart attack," she says."He couldn't walk. He had bruises on his head, nose, arms and feet. I begged them to put him in hospital." When Fredrick's eldest son called the next day they said to him: 'don't you know that he is dead?'

"They have taken the best part of my life away. They robbed me of a chance to grow old with my Freddie. Before I die I just want to know why they did this?"