Yende post-mortem shows she was mur­dered, say cops

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

PO­LICE have con­firmed that Them­bisile Yende was mur­dered fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of her de­com­posed body in an Eskom sub­sta­tion of­fice in Springs, Ekurhu­leni.

Yende went miss­ing on May 17 after leav­ing her Springs home for work after 6am in her com­pany-is­sued ve­hi­cle, as was her rou­tine.

Po­lice spokesper­son Cap­tain Kay Makhubele said yes­ter­day that the po­lice would now be in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case of mur­der.

“The post-mortem re­sults have been re­leased and in­di­cate that the de­ceased suf­fered head in­juries be­fore she died.

“They also show that she had bruises on her neck,” Makhubele told The Star, adding that in­ves­ti­ga­tions have been launched in a bid to ap­pre­hend Yende’s killer.

She was buried on Satur­day in an emo­tional funeral at­tended by Eskom board mem­bers, including chair­per­son Ben Ngubane, and SA Trade Union gen­eral sec­re­tary Zwelinz­ima Vavi.

Her col­leagues made the shock­ing dis­cov­ery after be­ing alerted by a pun­gent smell com­ing from the cor­ri­dors of the sub­sta­tion where she worked.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, her head was cov­ered with a black plas­tic bag when she was found.

Eskom later re­futed claims by Yende’s family of its re­luc­tance to as­sist them to find their loved one, sus­pect­ing “foul play” in the han­dling of her death.

At the time, Yende’s older brother Mbo­neni Yende ques­tioned which em­ploy­ees had found his sis­ter, as she worked on her own and the sub­sta­tion’s se­cu­rity of­fi­cers knocked off at 6am – be­fore Yende’s shift be­gan.

The lack of se­cu­rity at the plant was also cor­rob­o­rated by Yende’s part­ner Paseka Modise, who lived with her, say­ing his part­ner had to open and close the gate with a pad­lock.

“The gate was not mo­torised – it was only fixed after we opened the miss­ing per­son’s case. We are ques­tion­ing the se­cu­rity of these premises be­cause, from a safety per­spec­tive, this gate should be mo­torised as it’s in a re­mote area and Thembi was a woman work­ing on her own,” Modise said at the time.

Yende’s younger brother Sihle Yende told The Star he went with his brother Jabu to the plant to search for his sis­ter, but they were not al­lowed to go into her of­fice. In­stead, he added, they were taken by a su­per­vi­sor to a store­room filled with equip­ment, where they found the door un­locked, but the bur­glar gate was locked.

“He told us to look from the out­side and we didn’t see any signs of Thembi,” Sihle claimed.

He also ques­tioned why the snif­fer dogs that were used to search the sub­sta­tion did not pick up his sis­ter’s scent dur­ing the search for her.

Sihle ac­com­pa­nied the po­lice and Eskom of­fi­cials when the search was be­ing con­ducted.

FOUL PLAY: Them­bisile Yende

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