Yende post-mortem shows she was murdered, say cops
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