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The State had provisionally withdrawn the case against the murder suspect, David Ngwenya, after prosecutors conceded a lack of evidence.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