It has been a month since a Mpumalanga man confessed to killing five women in the Masoyi area, but their families have yet to bury their loved ones.
The five victims – Tokkie Tlaka (24), Felicia Ndlhovu (19), Noxolo Mdluli (19), Banele Khoza (15) and Nomthandazo Mdluli (18) – were killed between January last year and May of this year. Tokkie’s body was the first one to be exhumed and she was buried a few days later.
But the families of the other four girls tell DRUM they’ve been unable to move on with their lives as their loved ones have yet to be lain to rest.
“We want closure. I don’t know what the hold-up is because our kids were found buried in different shallow graves,” says Noxolo’s grandmother, Selina Mona (62).
Dubbed the Masoyi Monster, Julius Mndawe (25) confessed to killing five girls when he was apprehended by the police.
“We identified Noxolo by a Carvela she was wearing. She was also buried with her phone. We know it’s her and we just want to lay her to rest,” the angry gogo says.
Selina says the police told her and the other families they’d taken the four girls’ bodies to Wits University for further tests.
“The policeman said this could take anything from six months to two years. And no one is giving us proper information. They (cops) told us to stop calling them about the bodies.”
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi asks for the families’ patience as they finalise the DNA results. He says the process could take a month or two to conclude.
“We will communicate with the families immediately when we get the results. The forensic team is hard at work for the families to have their kids’ bodies back.”
Hlathi also says the DNA tests will confirm whether the bodies do belong to all the families who came forward.
“We don’t want to make any mistakes and release the bodies to the wrong families. This process will avoid any mistakes or uncertainty. We ask the families to be patient with us.”