Murdered Eskom employee Thembisile Yende ‘knew too much’

Lucia Thembisile Yende
Lucia Thembisile Yende Image: Facebook/Lucia Thembisile Yende
Slain Eskom employee Thembisile Yende, 30, was going to expose illegal dealings in copper involving her alleged killer, David Ngwenya, 44.

Yesterday the Springs Magistrate’s Court, on the East Rand, heard that a key witness had told the police that Yende was killed because she knew of Ngwenya’s copper dealings and was about to report his activities to Eskom managers.

Investigating officer Christo Lotz told the court that Yende was injected with a drug to weaken her and was then taken to the Pieterboth electricity-supply substation where she was beaten and strangled.

The postmortem revealed that she fought back but was overpowered.

Lotz said her body was hidden for three days and then dumped in a storeroom to give the impression she had committed suicide.

“Ngwenya was with two other men who assisted him and for whom the police are still looking. He contacted them warning them that their secret was no longer safe and that Yende must be killed,” said Lotz.

Lotz said Ngwenya was romantically involved with Yende, but Ngwenya shook his head, denying that he had dated Yende.

Magistrate Cornell Pretorius postponed his bail application.

Ngwenya was arrested after a state witness made a statement to the police and he was pointed out in an identity parade.

Yesterday the court heard that the witness had fled from Soweto after a threat was made on his life.

Ngwenya’s attorney, Jan van Heerden, is expected to cross-examine Lotz today.

In an affidavit read by his advocate, Francois Roets, Ngwenya said the state had only an untested, prima facie case against him.

In his affidavit Ngwenya says: “I fully deny that I committed murder and I don’t have any other previous convictions or pending cases. I’m employed at Eskom, married with three children aged 17, 12 and 11.”

He was arrested on June 15 in Carletonville, on the West Rand.

BY PETER RAMOTHWALA

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