Fam­ily in search of an­swers in Yende case

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - POLITICS - MANYANE MANYANE

NEWS TIME on tele­vi­sion is a night­mare for Nesty Yende, mother of slain Eskom em­ployee, Them­bisile Yende.

Pic­tures of Them­bisile may ap­pear on the news flash as her 8-year-old son is watch­ing. Each time this hap­pens, the grand­mother tells the lit­tle boy to change chan­nel, fear­ing he may cry. But he protests, in­sist­ing that he wants to know who killed his mother.

“Even to­day, he still asks how his mother died, es­pe­cially dur­ing news time when it fea­tures Them­bisile’s mur­der. At that time they will also dis­play her pic­tures,” said Yende.

It was just past 10am on Fri­day as the 54-yearold pre­pared for an in­ter­view with In­de­pen­dent Me­dia at her mod­est house in Lan­gav­ille Ext 8, in Springs, Ekurhu­leni. The boy, clad in a blue printed one­sie, is seated on the couch, watch­ing TV with his 7-year-old half-brother.

“And when I or­der him to change the chan­nel, he’ll say, ‘No, granny, they are talk­ing about my mom. They said my mom’s mur­der case will be at Springs Mag­is­trate’s Court. Are you go­ing there? Do you know peo­ple who killed my mom?’”

The day be­fore, Yende had wo­ken p early to go to court, hop­ing for an­swers on her daugh­ter’s death. At midday, she re­turned home with no an­swers.

The State had pro­vi­sion­ally with­drawn the case against the mur­der sus­pect, David Ng­wenya, af­ter pros­e­cu­tors con­ceded a lack of ev­i­dence.

Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) spokesper­son Phindi Mjonond­wane said short­com­ings in the ev­i­dence, which she could not re­veal, had led to the pro­vi­sional with­drawal.

The de­ci­sion was like an ar­row pierc­ing Yende’s heart. Since her daugh­ter was found mur­dered at an Eskom sub­sta­tion in May last year, she had pinned her hopes on the court to re­veal the truth about the crime.

Themibisile’s body was found in an of­fice with her head cov­ered in a black plas­tic bag al­most two weeks af­ter she went miss­ing. Yende said Them­bisile had a strong bond with her son. To em­pha­sise this, she pointed at a couch in the cor­ner of the room, where Them­bisile and her son used to sleep while watch­ing TV at night.

“Now I’ve re­alised that he is build­ing a ha­tred to­wards Eskom. He cries a lot be­cause he’s miss­ing his mom.

“His mom was ev­ery­thing to him, they were very close. They would sleep on that couch and I would join them. The son would lay his head on Thembi and she her head on me,” she said.

Yende pleaded with Eskom to re­lease proof that could lead to the ar­rest of her daugh­ter’s killers. This, she said, would help her grand­son and the fam­ily to find clo­sure.

Eskom deputy spokesper­son Dikatso Mothae said it had no rea­son to be­lieve the case had not been fair, say­ing the util­ity had pro­vided all re­quired in­for­ma­tion to the po­lice.

“The cam­eras were not work­ing on the day Them­bisile was re­ported miss­ing. All in­for­ma­tion recorded by the cam­eras be­fore and af­ter she dis­ap­peared was handed over to the po­lice. Eskom em­ploy­ees and con­tracted se­cu­rity per­son­nel have fully co-op­er­ated with the SAPS,” Mothae said.


Nesty Yende (in grey jersey), mother of slain Them­bisile Yende, at the Springs Mag­is­trate’s Court this week.

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