#ThembisileYende: Family wants answers

2017-06-01 08:12
The body of Thembisile Yende lay dead in a storeroom near Springs for more than 10 days. (Supplied)

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

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Johannesburg – Thembisile Yende’s family and friends want answers from Eskom after she was found dead in a locked room at a substation outside Springs.

"The process of healing hasn’t begun. Now we are happy she has been found, but we want to know what happened. There is a lot of speculation," her brother Mboneni Yende said on Wednesday.

He was speaking as residents and her family protested outside the Pieterboth substation. It is surrounded by fields of long grass, and is close to a main road.

The 29-year-old’s body was found in the substation on Monday afternoon, after Eskom workers noticed a bad smell. She was reported missing on May 17. Yende had worked for Eskom since December 2015.

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

The crowd held placards that read: "I want my mom back. I want answers plz mom." Another read: "We are the women of this nation."

Some people shouted: "How did Thembisile die?"

A distraught Mboneni stood close to a white Toyota Hilux bakkie that apparently belonged to Yende. He had tears in his eyes.

He pointed to a room with a "Carrier Room" sign on it and said: "Sadly, they [Eskom] just jumped the gun and said she killed herself when no post-mortem was done."

Family needs closure

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe earlier said she was found in her locked office. It later emerged that her body was found in a storeroom.

Mboneni said the family was supposed to identify the body on Tuesday, but they had been unable to because the pathologist was not available.

Yende’s close friend, Nthabiseng Mosala, said they both attended the Roman Catholic Church together.

"My heart is very sore. We came to Eskom for answers. There are a lot of securities [guards] here today. We don’t know why there are so many because on the day she disappeared, there was no security."

Yende’s cousin Bongi Yende was disappointed by Eskom’s handling of the matter.

"They haven’t even phoned to send condolences to the Yende family. Every reaction we see from them is on the news. But as a family we hope we get answers and Eskom will come and speak to us as a family."

Yende’s neighbour Nthabiseng Nkepane said residents in Langaville extension 8 were still in shock and frustrated by the lack of answers.

"Eskom must just tell us what happened to Thembi once and for all so the family can have closure."

On Wednesday, Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela denied claims that the investigation was not yet underway. Although there was no new information, police combed the scene on the day her body was found.

A memorial service would be held at the Kwa-Thema community Hall in Springs at 14:00 on Thursday.

Read more on:    eskom  |  thembisile yende  |  johannesburg

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