“The night I killed my husband” – Joburg Grandmother Opens up
Seven years after Philda Sarlie killed her husband, the Johannesburg grandmother opens up about the years of abuse to investigative journalist Mandy Wiener, in Marie Claire magazine’s September issue, which is on shelf this week.
Sarlie relives the fateful night, her husband’s last words, and shares her emotional turmoil, regrets and some advice to others suffering abuse as she did.
She recounts how she stayed with him and the abuse for 18 years. “Do you know how many times he threatened me? How many times he told me he’d kill me and my kids if I left?”
In the Marie Claire interview, Sarlie tells Wiener about the night she woke up to someone stomping on her and realized it was her husband James on his return home.
He pointed the gun at me and said, “Tonight, I am going to kill you. I’m not threatening you. Tonight, I am going to kill you.”
Sarlie, who was never charged because the prosecutor deemed she had killed James in self-defence, reveals: “It hurts knowing that you’ve killed someone you love, and I am forever branded as the women who killed her husband. But until you know my story, you can’t judge me.
Note: Philda Sarlie was photographed by acclaimed photographer Hanro Havanga for the feature.