It’s the power of forgiveness that kept Monecia Isaacs (45) from Wellington going after the brutal murder of her son Juvino (24) in 2021. That and her faith.
She tells that Juvino was no angel. He became involved in gangs, abused drugs and was at one stage sentenced to 2.5 years imprisonment for assault.
Yet he was a loving child, very bad for his mother and had great respect for her. She will also always remember him for his sense of humor.
“I often visited him in prison and talked to him. While he was serving imprisonment, he gr. 10 completed. Something that actually surprised me, but he was very proud of it.”
And no, he didn’t have a girlfriend.
Monecia will never forget the day of Juvino’s death.
She says: “I went to visit my grandchild in the hospital that day on April 28, 2021, when I heard the news from my other son, Kurtley, that Juvino was very hurt.
“When I got to the street where we live and saw all the people, I just knew Juvino was dead. They kept me away from his body because he was so badly injured. He was stabbed 26 times. Clear day. I just cried and prayed the whole time.
“My daughters were with him when he breathed his last.
“To this day, we don’t know what caused it. It remains a mystery. No progress has been made on the matter. There are people who saw what happened, but they are too afraid to speak.
“I believe that his murder was planned.
“It hurt. I was disappointed and had angry outbursts afterwards.
“Wellington is getting very dangerous now. It is teeming with drugs and gangs. It certainly does not only occur on the Cape Flats, but everywhere. There is a shooting and murders with us every week.”
Monecia attributes these violent events to unemployment and the absence of paternal role models. The young people no longer set goals for themselves or dream about the future.”
Juvino’s father had a drug problem and left the family. He was never part of the children’s lives after that.
However, Juvino was crazy about his father and she often had to leave him with his father because she had to work. Her son first smoked cigarettes but later it was marijuana and then he started using drugs. It has become a way of life. He also had the wrong friends.
“By the time I opened my eyes, it was too late, but the Lord still had mercy on me and kept His hand over my life.”
“I was a carer by profession who did private care. I previously worked at the nursing home as well as with disabled children. I enjoyed my job although it could get exhausting at times if you were feeling down.”
Monecia says Juvino got involved in gangs in prison.
“He talked to me a lot and opened up to me. He also told me how difficult it was to leave a gang. He wanted to turn his life around, but he didn’t know how. Before his death he was at home for a month.
“I assisted him and prayed a lot for him. Two weeks before his death, he got a stomach ulcer and then went to the hospital.
“We planned another Patriots for Christ march for the weekend before his death because we didn’t know that he would die. The support group is a family group that Monecia, her brother, her mother and friends founded.
“We continued with the march a few days after his death. The Lord gave me calmness. No matter how hard and difficult it was.
“Since Juvino’s death, we take on the march every year where we walk, pray and distribute food. Also to the night shelters.”
It goes before the wind with Monecia’s three other children Meghan (29), Anouscka (19) and Kurtley (26). Her two daughters live with her and Kurtley lives on his own.
The children are doing well in life. Kurtley works for a large pharmacy group, Meghan runs a restaurant and Anouscka wants to study law next year.
Monecia is also married to Merwyn Isaacs in the meantime, whom she describes as “calm” and “a good father figure”. He works in the construction industry.
It was not always easy for Monecia to be a single mother.
“At one stage I baked and sold cookies to keep the pot boiling and to do something from home so I could be with my children.
“I can truly testify that the Lord is healing me. It is only the Lord who can save people from such circumstances that we have experienced. When I feel depressed, I sing praise and worship songs and give my testimony.
“I am currently walking a path with Juvino’s friends who also abuse drugs. We assist drug addicts.
“There is no healing without repentance. You can’t do it on your own. For that you need the Lord”, she emphasizes.
Except for the group Patriots for Christ, is she also involved in the Every Nation church in Chicago in the Paarl, which does outreach and where she also gives her testimony.
“I worked with young mothers in the community for a while. I want to empower them.
Monecia can speak from life experience. The advice she gives to other parents whose children have become involved in drugs and gangs is to keep giving them love.
“It was painful to see how neglected Juvino looked because of the drugs. That’s when only prayer and love work.
“A lot of people just say that tough luck if your child turns out like that, but I don’t agree. One must find out what the causes are, and make him believe that he belongs somewhere. There is a place for him.”
“Forgiveness was a difficult process but I received a lot of support from my community and church family. Today I feel much lighter and better.
“After such a violent crime and tragedy, it is human to perhaps try to take revenge, but judgment belongs to God.
“Young people out there need to know that there is mercy. We believe that people should get a second or even a third chance.
“In the end I had to make a choice to forgive my child’s killer or to die with him.”
- Contact Monecia via WhatsApp on 073 993 7931.