never again

Daphne Mawley Dubree & her late granddaughter Mehmona Dubree

Daphne Mawley Dubree & her late granddaughter Mehmona Dubree

She was starving

Mehmona Dubree was 3 or 4 years old when this photograph was taken. “It was her birthday,” her grandmother Daphne Dubree remembers. “ Wasn’t she a pretty baby? She was my first grandchild.”

But Mehmona developed a mental illness and needed full time care for the rest of her life. She lived at Life Esidimeni for nearly 20 years. Her grandmother visited Mehmona as often as she could. “ I loved her as she was,” she says.

Then Mehmona was moved to Takalani in Soweto. When her grandmother came to visit her, she got a huge fright.

“I could see immediately she wasn’t right,” she remembers. “In just six months she had become just bones. I thought they can’t be feeding her. What were they doing? How could they have let her suffer like that?”

Mehmona died on Christmas Eve.