It has been 61 days since the lockdown began in South Africa after the Covid-19 outbreak.For many, the time has flown by quickly as they marked things off their bucket lists. But for Kutlwano Siebe-Gwala* it has been the longest two months of her life.Kutlwano’s husband of four years, Andile Gwala* (29), is reportedly missing for almost three months without a trace.Worried and imagining the worst, Kutlwano says Andile left their home in Florida, Roodepoort, to meet up with a friend.
“My husband left the house saying he was going to fetch something from a friend
who lives nearby. And that was the last time I laid my eyes on him,” she says.Although the two have had their ups and downs, Kutlwana doesn’t believe Andile
has quarantined with a lover.“The longest time he has been away from home before is maybe for two days to
visit family. I do not think he just one day randomly decided to leave his
marriage,” she says.“And had he left me for another woman, he wouldn’t have left his valuables,”
When Andile left, he was wearing shorts and flip-flops.“All his clothes as well as driver’s licence, ID document, his university certificates and everything he owns is still here. Something must have happened to my husband that fateful night, and I suspect the friend he went to visit,” she says tearfully.To add salt to the wound, Kutlwano says she has been subjected to hostile in-laws who have allegedly done nothing to assist her and have instead insisted that she murdered her husband and “probably has his body under the bed”.
Theories have emerged from friends and family about what exactly happened to Andile – ranging from him having disappeared with a lover to possible kidnapping and murder.“I have heard many horror stories of what might have happened but I just want closure. If he is with a lover, I deserve to know. If he is dead, I just wish for his body to be found. But I need answers because I have not slept a wink since he left,” she says.Kutlwano has opened a missing person’s case at Florida Police Station, which she says has been a frustrating exercise as no leads have turned up.
Florida Police Station has confirmed to Move! that a case has been opened and
it is under investigation.
Kutlwano, who worked as a publicist, was part of the millions of South Africans
who found themselves jobless due to lockdown. With her husband gone, she finds
herself unable to cope financially.“He is a breadwinner and he has been supporting me since I lost my job,” she
says. “Things have been very difficult for me, and I am forced to sell a few
valuables and to move out of our home because I have defaulted on rent,” she
*Not their real names