I started death in the face
"The arrival of a police vehicle saved me from an angry community group that wanted to see the end of me. I was a member of a notorious gang that broke into people's houses and stole goods when I was in grade 10.
My mother, who had high blood pressure, was often confronted by angry people who came to report my criminal activities and some threatened to kill me. In her efforts to make peace with her neighbours, she wanted to send me to my grandparents who lived in a village. The day she planned to take me to the village, I ran away from home and stayed with a friend.
Not knowing where I was made my mother's health deteriorate even more. I decided to go back home after two weeks because I heard about my mother’s ill health. I had been home for a few days when I was wrongfully accused of a crime I did not commit.
A group of angry community members found me at a house that had been broken into. They tied me to an electric pole, beat me up and some threw stones and broken bottles at me. I tried to explain that I had not broken in, but none of them wanted to hear from me. I cried until my body became numb and I felt no pain any more. That was when I said my last prayer, asking God to forgive me and receive my soul. I had lost all hope of surviving when a police vehicle arrived. I was taken to the police station where I stayed for two weeks while receiving medical attention at a local hospital.
I was released on R3,000 bail. In 2018, I was invited to attend services at the Universal Church. At a service, I understood it was possible to lead a crime-free life. I surrendered my life to God and I stopped going out with the friends I had.
I slowly regained the trust of my community and family. My mother's health improved and I live peacefully with everyone around me," said Lucas.