My mother was arrested and detained on 30 December 2009 and released on bail on 22 January 2010. She was suspended without salary from 1 June 2010 by her employer, the South African Police Service. They refused to reinstate her salary even after the 90 days was over.

The disciplinary process was underway. It was ridiculous, unlawful, unjust; I was angry, we all were. My mom was being prosecuted by a chairman who had a DUI and an assault charge, both cases pending. My mom wrote numerous letters for him to step down as chairman and he refused. It dragged on for months, money spent on an unreliable and sometimes sketchy lawyer, but it was the best her money could do at that time. We had hoped that justice would prevail but it didn’t. We knew where it was headed and her lightening fast mind made a decision. She resigned the day they were going to make the decision.

She felt amazing, in control. She soldiered on the way they taught her at the police academy. For the longest time, I thought ‘doing right’ and ‘living right’ meant it all turns out right, but only if there are no bad people. I thought they were all bad, but I’m happy to say that’s not the case. I’m grateful for the good I experienced, as that trumps the bad any day.

Hunger was frequent, pain came and went, anger wanted to stay but had no lasting place, plans of revenge came to the table: ‘We’ll sue, that’s what we’ll do’ and it was perfect. For the longest time, that was our life at 23 Honey Street until my mom opted to forgive the South African Police and take GOD at His word when He said: ‘Vengeance is mine, saith The LORD, I will repay’ Romans 12:19.

I have to tell you, without faith in a Higher Power, you will never know how powerful that is and it turned our world upside down. It’s funny because from where I’m standing, its right side up and it brought us closer as a family. We had a choice, to live and be free from anger and bitterness, or fall apart like a two-dollar suitcase. This was the beginning of the rest of our lives and also the end of many relationships.

My middle sister fell into a deep depression and checked out of reality. She started hanging with the wrong crowd, smoking, the very clichéd western teenager. For the longest time I judged her, and even disliked her, to the point where I wanted her to die. I know it’s pretty ugly but my heart was broken, all our hearts were and I guess we all had our own way of dealing with it.

We fought and fought and my mother managed to get some of the monies due her. Then it was paying debts that had accumulated during the waiting period, all her pension went to paying her lawyer, as he was a very good one.

She was acquitted of all charges in the Court of Law on 26 October 2012. The victory was bitter sweet. By this time, the pension was finished and we had no food in the house, still there was hope and it was all we focused our attention on. For the longest time, hope was all we had. We went from pillar to post trying to get her remaining monies to no avail and when the police decided to give her money, they cut it drastically with no explanation and that was that.

Through all this, my mom remained strong and never lost her mind and I’m glad she didn’t. In the end we lost our beautiful home, our car, we all quit school and moved in with our 90-year old grandmother. The only income is her old age grant but all is not lost, I’m working on my singing career and that’s what will get us out of here. As long as there is breath in my body, there is still a chance to turn this story into a ‘happily ever after’.

I don’t care that people think I’m lazy and that I refuse to work a normal job. I’m going to follow my dreams, no matter what. For the longest time I never thought like that though. I haven’t arrived but I’ve left.