Thembisile Yende's death: Eskom has explaining to do, says Lesufi

2017-05-31 12:43
The body of Thembisile Yende lay dead in her office near Springs for more than 10 days. (Supplied)

The body of Thembisile Yende lay dead in her office near Springs for more than 10 days. (Supplied)

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Springs - Eskom has a lot of explaining to do about the death of its employee Thembisile Yende, whose body lay at their Springs offices for 10 days before it was discovered.

"You can put resources to people who are stealing your cables, but you can't put resources to people who are killing your own employees. It does not work that way," Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said.

Lesufi was addressing a small crowd of community that was protesting outside of the Pieterboth Substation outside Springs on Wednesday morning.

The small group was demanding answers from Eskom after the body of the 29-year-old was discovered in the locked room on Monday after 16:00 when Eskom employees got a whiff of a strong smell emanating from the corridors of the substation where she worked.

She was reported missing on May 17.

- Read more: 'Missing' Thembisile Yende lay dead in her office for 10 days

Lesufi said there was no way people could keep quiet about what had happened.

"There is no way that we can fold our arms when our women are being attacked and bodies of people that we love so dearly is found. This must come to an end."

Lesufi said they must send a strong message to criminals that think it was "okay" to kill women.

"We can't be a country that is at war with its own women. We can't be a country that doesn't care about its own women. We can't be a country that is counting the bodies of our women that is dying," Lesufi said.

Lesufi has called on all law enforcement to prioritise its investigation into the killing of women.

"Set up a special task team that we have to set up to ensure that this particular matter is investigated and we find solutions to these problems."

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) wanted police to investigate whether Eskom was negligent in their handling of the disappearance and death of Yende.

"We call on Eskom and the South African Police Services to leave no stone unturned in establishing the circumstances surrounding her death. We hope the investigation will shed light on whether Eskom was indeed negligent in the manner in which the death of our member was handled," the union said in a statement.

Surveillance cameras

Numsa also expressed concern over Eskom's surveillance cameras not operating on the day of her disappearance.

They questioned why parastatal yielded no results in their initial investigation, as well as their silence over her disappearance, despite the fact that her car was in the parking lot after she was reported missing.

Her brother Mboneni Yende told News24 on Tuesday that the family was not coping with the death and was disappointed with the manner in which Eskom handled the situation.

"When we started searching for her, we received no help from Eskom. Until now, we never received any form of support from Eskom. The company did not even pay us a visit yet," he said.

When asked why no-one in the offices picked up that the door remained locked for that long, Eskom national spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said: "It is a remote site with small offices."

"It is outside Springs. It is not like your normal offices, you don't have people coming in and out there every day."

Read more on:    eskom  |  numsa  |  panyaza lesufi  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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