Palesa Madiba is still missing

August 12, 2014
University of Johannesburg  student Palesa Madiba has been missing for one year.

Written by Mpho Raphata


As a parent , you raise a child wishing them only the best in life, hope they finish school and go on to make something of their lives. That they will one day make you proud and you will see the fruits of your investments in them. No one ever prepares for their child to just disappear without a trace.

And so that is why I can only imagine what the Madiba family and friends are going through today. Yes it has been a year.  Palesa Madiba has been missing for a year now. It must not be painful but also disheartening to be looking for your loved one for so long without a solid lead, I can only imagine as a mother what this would do to you.  Going to bed for a year and not knowing where my daughter is, whether she is safe- the worst is hoping that at the very least her body would turn up , that way you can bury her and lay her to rest. My heart really goes out to the family. I remember on one of the drives to try and find Palesa, her mother sat quietly outside Maponya Mall, and you could see the pain in her eyes and how she hoped that our efforts would yield some fruits.

A year on I’m still asking the same questions I did the first time I heard of Palesa’s story. What really happened? The explanations I received never made sense to me.  To her friend Tshidi who was visiting when she disappeared, I wish you could share the conversations you had with her the night before you went to bed? Give us an insight perhaps into her state of mind, because it is still strange you have no clue what happened to her. As for Tshidi’s uncle who was the last to see her alive, I wish you could tell the truth. I feel as though you might be hiding something.

As for the police, well, I hope you can sleep at night when a year has gone by and you have nothing to report. No arrests. I suspect you know as much as I, a journalist knows about the matter.

To the Madiba family- my heart goes out to you. I know how much you have invested in trying to find her. I’m really sorry that all your efforts have not yielded any fruits, but we live in hope, the hope that someone, somewhere who may know something about Palesa’s disappearance will have a conscience and come forward, or better yet that the police can do their job and thoroughly investigate how Palesa disappeared.