South Africa, Pretoria – Gender-based violence survivor Palesa Kambule has shared the inside story of her ordeal and her rise as a successful businesswoman.
Kambule was speaking during a women empowerment dialogue at Ikageng Community Hall in Mamelodi yesterday.
The event was hosted by Deputy Minister in the Presidency Thembi Siweya, and was a call for the economic empowerment of women as one of the mitigating factors against gender-based violence and femicide.
Siweya was accompanied by Deputy Minister of Police Cassel Mathale, and Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko.
Kambule, 40, said she grew up in Soweto in a good family. Her sister was murdered by her boyfriend.
The mother of four said her first husband was caring and a good father too, but in the end, he became violent.
“He was very supportive and a good father to my two kids.
He said to me after we had moved out of Soweto to the suburbs that I needed to find a job.”
Over the years, she ventured into business, but problems started after she nailed a R19 million tender.
“I landed a huge tender and there were excitement and not enough knowledge.”
She said her then ex-husband felt somewhat emasculated, and they fought about the tender. He then took out a gun and shot her.
Kambule ended up dropping the charges against her husband, despite the misery he put her through.
He was released and tried to kill her for the second time. She was in the trauma counselling centre for several days.
This time she did not report him, she said. “I went behind his back and made alterations to one of the businesses we ran together. But then, my debts escalated and became more than R300 million. I declared myself insolvent and was sequestered.
“My marriage fell apart as well, and from all that I became homeless.”
She moved in with her parents and later tried to commit suicide a couple of times.
Kambule said that soon thereafter, she met a doctor who married her and took care of her children. But things turned sour when the doctor started abusing her.
That toxic relationship made her decide to start all over again.
Kambule is now a chief executive of Mampuru Kingdom Holdings and runs businesses in different provinces of South Africa.