JOHANNESBURG – As police try to piece together what happened to a Gauteng woman whose body was found on Eskom’s premises, workers union the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says the investigation should extend to the utility’s handling of her disappearance.
Thembisile Yende’s body was discovered in one of Eskom’s offices in Springs on Monday two weeks after she went missing.
It’s understood that the premises were searched after the news of her disappearance but nothing was found.
Yende’s family has made it clear that they suspect foul play in her murder.
Now Numsa, of which Yende was a member, says Eskom also has some tough questions to answer.
Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi says: “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.
“Adding to our dismay as the union is that a previous investigation by the Eskom yielded nothing and it would seem the employer got relaxed because he saw her vehicle in the car park.”
Questions have been asked about why the CCTV system at the substation was not working on the day Yende disappeared and why there was no security guard on duty.
[Watch] More questions than answers around Thembisile Yende's death
The family of Yende says it will not rest until they have received the facts related to her death from Eskom.
A postmortem is being performed to determine the cause of her death.
The family’s Brian Sithole says they believe Eskom has the answers on the cause of Yende’s death.
“What went on there, we want answers. As the family, we want answers. The company must account for what has happened in their premises.”
He says the family is not happy with the way the parastatal has treated them.
“Now when she was found there, the body was moved from the Eskom premises without the family knowing that her body is going to be moved to the forensic facility in Springs.”
Sithole says family and friends will picket outside the Springs substation to demand answers on Yende’s death.
FRIENDS FONDLY REMEMBER YENDE
Yende’s friends have described her as a vibrant person who loved to dance.
Her childhood friend Sibonisile Nhlapho says while she is hurt by her death, she knows Yende had found happiness.
“We were always talking about love because she was so happy."
Another friend, Mummy Magome, says a large void will be felt without her friend.
“It’s painful knowing where we come from and what I have been through with her. I can’t explain it.”
Friends and family are continuing to make their way to the home to pay their respects and offer support to the family.
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)