Hol­i­days a grim time for Palesa’s fam­ily

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TANKISO MAKHETHA tankiso.makhetha@inl.co.za

THE hol­i­days proved dif­fi­cult for the Madiba fam­ily who re­main in the dark over their daugh­ter Palesa’s death.

She dis­ap­peared in 2013 and her re­mains were found dur­ing the De­cem­ber 2015 hol­i­days.

The Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg (UJ) stu­dent’s cousin Thabiso Tsoledi yes­ter­day told The Star that de­spite the fam­ily com­ing to terms with the 20-yearold’s death, the last few weeks, a pe­riod dur­ing which fam­i­lies were meant to be to­gether, have been grim. “The fes­tive sea­son was dif­fi­cult for us as a fam­ily be­cause we are still heal­ing and re­cov­er­ing,” Tsoledi said.

“There ob­vi­ously was a som­bre mood, but that’s what hap­pens.”

Tsoledi said de­spite their sad­ness, they were still hop­ing the po­lice would bring those re­spon­si­ble for Madiba’s death to jus­tice.

“Po­lice have re­mained in touch with us as in­ves­ti­ga­tions are cur­rently on­go­ing. We have to al­low the le­gal process to un­fold,” Tsoledi said.

“It is tough to expect any­thing from the po­lice at this mo­ment or for the next few months be­cause noth­ing con­crete has come up over the past year, so we have to be pa­tient and wait for the po­lice to con­clude their in­ves­ti­ga­tions.”

Po­lice have yet to make an ar­rest over Madiba’s dis­ap­pear­ance and death.

Po­lice spokesper­son Lieu­tenant-Colonel Lun­gelo Dlamini yes­ter­day said the in­ves­ti­ga­tions were at an ad­vanced stage and re­fused to com­ment fur­ther.

Madiba, a UJ stu­dent, was re­ported miss­ing on Au­gust 13, 2013.

Her fam­ily had last seen her on Au­gust 9 that year, when she left to visit a friend in Phiri, although she had told her fam­ily she was go­ing to visit her mother in Protea Glen, also in Soweto.

Ac­cord­ing to the friend, Tshidi Mkhwanazi, Madiba spent time with her at the house in Phiri un­til Mkhwanazi left for work.

Al­legedly, the last per­son to see Madiba alive was Mkhwanazi’s un­cle, who lived in a back room on the prop­erty.

Madiba had ap­par­ently given him the keys to the house as she headed to a10am lec­ture at UJ’s Soweto cam­pus.

After Madiba was re­ported miss­ing, the un­cle is­sued Madiba’s fam­ily with a re­strain­ing or­der after claim­ing they were ha­rass­ing him.

The un­cle later moved out of the house.

Po­lice were given false tipoffs in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion that led to a woman who claimed to know where Madiba was. She was charged with de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice.

How­ever, Madiba’s re­mains were found in 2015 be­fore be­ing pos­i­tively iden­ti­fied by her fam­ily.

BAT­TLE: Palesa Madiba’s fam­ily are still seek­ing clo­sure.

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