Members of the Vyeboom community are at loggerheads with the Vuwani police. Photo supplied.
The unresolved case involving the disappearance and death of a local woman from Vyeboom in Vuwani caused angry residents to take to the streets on Tuesday, 10 October, and march to the local Vuwani Police Station.
The protesters voiced their dissatisfaction with the SAPS’s apparent inability to act in cases where people vanish without a trace. The station commissioner at the police station was handed a list of the residents’ grievances and demands.
Ms Naledzani Makhado (52) mysteriously disappeared on 10 September 2021, on her way to work at the Kurhuleni Clinic, in Collins Chabane. She has not been seen since.
Her disappearance has caused a big rift between the Vyeboom community and the Vuwani police, which was deepened even further when a human skeleton, alongside some of Makhado’s personal belongings, were discovered at Tshitungulwane on 11 September this year.
Community members complain that the family and other residents have provided the police with the names of people they suspected could have had a hand in her disappearance, but that the police had made no effort to crack the case. “We have all along suspected that she was ritually murdered, and we even told the police the names of the suspects, but they have not done anything to arrest the culprits. We are not happy at all with the way the case is being handled. We demand that the police arrest the suspects, so that they can explain what they did with her body,” said a resident who preferred anonymity.
The chairperson of the Vyeboom Civic, Mr Makondelela Murovhi, said they were tired of waiting. “The skeleton has long been found and we have so many unanswered questions about what had happened. We are very concerned about the lack of feedback since the forensic pathologists took her bones, but the DNA results are not forthcoming. We wonder what this delay is all about,” he said.
Last week, the community members shut the village down, which prompted the MEC for Transport and Community Safety, Florence Radzilani, to meet with the Vyeboom community. She was accompanied by Provincial Commissioner Lt Gen Thembi Radebe and the district commissioner. The meeting took place at the village on Wednesday, 18 October. The shutdown has already led to the damage of property in the village and nearby town of Vuwani.
Date:28 October 2023
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019.