NEWS
04/06/2018 12:56 SAST | Updated 04/06/2018 16:05 SAST

WATCH: One Year After Thembisile Yende's Murder: 'I Miss Her Laughter'

"I dreamt about her the other day, she was alive. I was so happy..." HuffPost visits Yende's family.

It has been a year since Eskom employee Thembisile Yende was found dead at the utility's East Rand office, a week after she was reported missing. With the wheels of justice turning slowly, HuffPost visited Yende's family in Springs to find out how they were coping.

"I miss her laughter," her older sister Mapule Yende told HuffPost on Sunday.

The Yende home is quiet with only the aroma of a home-cooked meal filling the air. Mapule is cooking with her baby tied to her back with a blanket.

"It really upsets me because she died when I was still pregnant. She died without seeing my child. My child resembles Thembi so much," she said.

"The year before last my mother was sick and Thembi was concerned that she was going to die before seeing her grandchild, but [Thembi] ended up passing away."

"It really hurt me. Kamo misses his mother. I am like a mother to him but it won't be the same. Thembi lived her child, it hurts!"

Mapule says her sister was a joyful person.

"She was a happy person, she could not be angry with someone for a long time.

"I dreamt about her the other day, she was alive. I was so happy. I just wanted to be with her, I wouldn't even allow her to go to the kitchen. But it was just a dream, when I woke up I started crying."

Thembi left behind a son, Kamogelo, who is now eight years old.

"It really hurts me. Kamo misses his mother. I am like a mother to him but it won't be the same. Thembi loved her child... it hurts!"

She reflects on when Thembi went missing and says the family had to lie to Kamo.

"When she was missing, we [told him] that she was in Durban studying. She used to do Eskom courses there. Then he [Kamo] asked why she was not calling, because that is what she usually did when she was away. At the time, we had so much hope that we would find her," she said.

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David Ngwenya to appear court

The man accused of murdering Yende is expected to appear in the Springs Magistrate's Court on June 28. He was released on R15,000 bail in December last year.

Eskom technician David Ngwenya allegedly murdered Yende after he suspected that she would spill the beans on his alleged involvement in a copper cable theft syndicate.

Her body was discovered in the storeroom at the Pietersboth substation after she went missing on May 17 last year.

Ngwenya stands accused of injecting Yende with a substance before allegedly striking her head with a crowbar and subsequently suffocating and strangling her after a struggle.