“Thandie if we pay this person they will be winning, we cannot allow this fool to win.” I didn’t know how else to explain this to her, I wanted her to know that we will not be paying anything to anyone. “We might pay him now and he goes silent for a few months and once the money runs out who’s to say he won’t come back for more money, we will end up paying him every week this is why we have to nib this in the butt before it goes too far.” I said to her and she was a bit understanding. We arrive at She Rocks lawyer friend in Rosebank, She Rocks was already there waiting for us, I introduced her to Thandie and we went in the lift to go meet the lawyer.
We meet this white lady by the name of Samantha, she was very kind and listened to our story she said there were a lot of these kind of cases going around especially with young girls, this social media was destroying so many lives, she said some girls were not as lucky as Thandie to get a warning they just got surprised by their naked pictures popping up everywhere and she said it happened to girl as young as twelve years old and she honestly didn’t think that teenagers were being educated enough on dangers of social media. She asked Thandie if she did not send the picture herself to the person who was threatening her because if she did then she was going to be charged with porn distribution, Thandie said no, she would never do that. “She went for a sleep-over at a friend’s house, is it possible that one of the girls could have taken her picture while she was sleeping?” I asked looking at Thandie, she shook her head and said something strange happened that weekend. Now all eyes were on her and I was getting annoyed at her for not telling me this earlier, this could have saved us this trip to the lawyer. “We were watching movies the Nozi received a call from some guy friends of theirs they wanted to come over, her parents had gone out, they came we watched movies and I don’t remember going to bed, the only thing I remember is waking up in Nozi’s bed, I only had a t-shirt on and it wasn’t even mine.”
Oh my gosh I wanted to say but I couldn’t say that to her, I didn’t want her thinking this was worse than it actually looked even though that is exactly what I thought “What about underwear, did you have that on?” She Rocks asked looking concerned. Thandie nodded and said she doesn’t think she was raped she just didn’t understand how she moved from the TV room to the bedroom. “What about those boys? Were they still there when you woke up?” I asked Thandie and she said when she asked Nozi she said they left an hour after they arrived, they left cause her parents were on their way back and when she asked her how she got to bed all the other girls said they were all tired so they must have all thrown themselves in bed while sleepy because they were all tired and were all complaining of a headache but Nozi’s mom gave them painkillers and said their eyes must be tired from watching TV all night when Nozi told her about everyone having a headache. I asked her if she was the only one who didn’t remember how she got to bed and she said almost everyone in the sleep-over didn’t remember how they got to bed but Nozi told them they all went to bed at the same time and everyone kind of just dropped it and forgot about it.
“And the number that’s sending you naked pictures you don’t know it?” Samantha the lawyer asked and Thandie shook her head. Sam told us that we will need to go to the police station and open a case with the police and the moment she mentioned dealing with police I knew this was going to be a waste of time, she said we will need to get a subpoena that will be given to all cellular networks so if that number that has been threatening her belongs to any of the networks the companies would have to give us that person’s details so we can take them to court. For now all Samantha could do was give the person a call and tell them that if they distribute Thandie’s pictures they will be child with child pornography because Thandie was a minor to which we all agree to but the number went straight to voicemail Samantha left a voicemail explaining that she was Thandie’s lawyer and that if he dared sent those pictures he would face years in prison for child pornography and that we were going to find him.
We left the lawyer offices feeling a bit positive She Rocks suggested we all go out for breakfast which I agreed to, we went to a restaurant had breakfast and chatted while we were chatting a message came through on Thandie’s phone. “So you told your lawyer about me, you will never find me and for that I’m upping the money I want R20 000 or this picture circulates around the school” I showed She Rock and she wanted to reply and swear at the creep but I told her not to, she called Samantha to let her know that we have received another message but Samantha was not available, she was in a meeting. We left the restaurant and Thandie and I went home while She Rocks went to work. On the way home, I got a call from Mthobisi asking where I was I because Mali was at home the school had called him about Thandie and he was there to discuss this with us. My heart started beating fast, I was worried thinking that creep had sent Thandie’s picture to the school and that the teachers found out and that’s why they called Mali, I had failed my brother, I was hardly her guardian for two weeks and then this happens, I didn’t tell Thandie that her dad was waiting for us I don’t know why maybe because I was scared that she was going to thin the same thing I was thinking, when we got home she was surprised to see him and scared at the same time. “Papa what are you doing here?” she asked looking at him nervously, he looked at me then at her then said “The school called, they said you haven’t been at school in two days. What is going on with you? Lesedi where did you find her?” we were both speechless, I was not ready for this, I was not ready for Mali and his questions I had not even told my husband about this. “On our way to school Thandie became worse, she was sick yesterday so she didn’t go to school, today she was feeling a bit better but on the way to school she suddenly felt dizzy and faintly so I took her to the doctor I was going to call you when I got back home Mali.” I said really not sure where that lie came from so quickly even Thandie poor girl was so surprised by my lie, but she caught on quick because she started coughing and I wanted to laugh then she said she was going to go and lie down for a bit.
Mali asked how much the doctor charged and what he said, I told him not to worry about money all I wanted was for Thandie to be okay, I told him he said she’s catching a flu but it’s nothing serious and Mali said it was probably due to the change of weather her body was probably still adjusting to the Joburg temperature, he thanked me for taking care of his daughter and said he has to rush back to work and will call and check on her later.
After he left Mthobisi gave me an inquiring look “What’s going on?” he said staring me in the faced, I smile and said “nothing I can’t handle” I said feeling confident that I could handle this myself. “okay, just don’t come running to me when it’s too late for me to fix it, okay?” he said playing with his daughter, I rolled my eyes thinking my husband is so arrogant always thinking he’s the only one who can sort issues out. “Okay, okay since you insist I need your help. There’s something you need to know, let’s go to the bedroom I don’t want Mavis hearing this.” We went to the bedroom and I told him the whole story and he laughed and said I wasted time with lawyers. He told me to give him the number this guys was using his pople were going to find this person, I gave him the number and Mthobisi said he was going to make a few calls and find out who the phone belongs to so he can pay that scumbag a visit, I looked at him and told him he just got out of the hospital he can’t be running around beating people, I told him to send one of his people and he said he would but I had a sneaky suspicion that he was going to do it himself. I went to go play with my daughter, I felt like I was neglecting her since Thandie came into the picture. My sister called to find out how Thandie was doing at school, I didn’t wat to tell her about the whole dram a so I lied and said all was well. “Listen I need to tell you something but please don’t be mad okay.” My sister said and I wondered what she had done this time. “Naledi I can’t deal with bad news not now, I have had a rough couple of days and the last thing I need to hear is bad news, if it’s bad rather not tell me.” She said it was not too bad so I told her to go ahead and tell me. “It accidentally slipped that you are looking after Mali’s child.” I asked who slipped it and to who and she lied and said the kids were asking about when they were coming to visit Thandie again and they asked this with both Victor and my mom around so my mom asked who Thandie was and the kids said it’s Uncle Mali’s daughter and she was left to explain the whole story. I knew she was lying my sister can’t keep a secret to save her life, she must have blurted it out, it’s as if secrets start burning her chest and she has to tell someone or else she will have a heart attack.
I asked what our parents said she said they were very angry that we had kept this a secret from them and Victor wants to have a family meeting with all of us first then a family meeting with Sue’s family to explain this embarrassing situation that Mali had gotten us into. “Naledi, Naledi, why could you not just keep your mouth shut, Mali had a plan he was going to handle this in his own way but you just had to go and interfere, I am tired Naledi you have no idea what that child is going through and I will not tell you because you have a big mouth, one thing I do know is I do not have the strength to deal with angry mom and Victor and I am very angry at you for opening your big mouth about nothing that has nothing to do with you.” I was so annoyed I hung up. I called Mali to tell him about Victor knowing about his child and he said Victor had already called him and demanded a family meeting so he had no choice but to tell Sue about Thandie and Sue was so upset that she kicked him out, he was on his way to our place he needed a place to stay for a few days. “Mali first you give me your daughter to look after now you are coming to stay here too, my house is not a bloody hotel” I said hanging up the phone.