Cane field deaths: Closure at last

2008-02-29 00:00

THE Mthethwa family will finally get closure over the death of their daughter Zibuyile after months of anguish and heartache.

Zibuyile was one of the 11 women who were found murdered in sugar cane fields near uMzinto on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.

Zibuyile was raped and strangled by the so-called uMzinto Serial Killer in May last year. Her body was found at the Shayamoya cane fields several weeks later.

After months of waiting for her body to be released, her family will bury her remains at a funeral in Stanger today.

Police released seven bodies to grief-stricken families on Wednesday after months of DNA and forensic tests.

Zibuyile’s distraught father, Daniel Mthethwa, told Weekend Witness that he was relieved that he could finally perform her funeral and bring closure to the ordeal that has left his family with many sleepless nights.

“We are glad that we have finally had her remains to bury. It brings closure for our family. It has been a nightmare waiting to bring her back to her home,” he said.

Mthethwa said the family is still having difficulty dealing with Zibuyile’s death, but hopes the funeral will help them make peace with their ancestors.

“These were hard times for us. We couldn’t even eat properly because we were so troubled. She was always there in our minds and that made living a normal life very difficult,” he said.

The pensioner said that whenever he catches a glimpse of Zibuyile’s siblings, he is reminded of her. “Her mother has taken her death especially hard. However, the family can take solace in knowing that her body has come home to its final resting place.”

Mthethwa has attended several of the court appearances of the two suspects who have been charged with the women’s murders and is hoping that justice will be done.

“I do not hate them, but hope that the court will give them the sentences they deserve for these horrible crimes. This, in a small way, will offer comfort to my family,” he said.

Zibuyile’s grandmother, Nomthandazo Mfeka, described her granddaughter as a jovial person who loved to care for others. “She was a loving person who always sought to help others. She brought a lot of joy into the house and will be missed,” she said.

Mfeka said the family has banded together to support and care for Zibuyile’s five-year-old son Boy.

“It’s really sad that this beautiful little boy will grow without his mother. We are all trying to do our best to help him live a good life. His mother would have wanted that,” she added.

Four victims will be buried at a mass funeral in Durban tomorrow.

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