Two Years and Palesa Madiba is Still Missing
When I started this journey with the Madiba family and their relatives I initially thought it was just a story, and that Palesa Madiba will turn up after a few days. It is with a heavy heart that two years down the line I have to report that Palesa is still missing. I wonder what is going through her sister’s mind. Imagine that your sibling has disappeared literally without a trace; imagine what is going through her mother’s mind today? What questions is she asking herself? My heart bleeds for her it cannot be easy to give birth to a child and when you expect her to prosper and can almost taste the victory; she is taken away from you so unceremoniously, so brutally, with so many unanswered questions.
I have a picture of Palesa on my desk, and every now and again I take a glance at it and see her smiling back me and hope to get answers or some clue from her captivating smile, but to no avail. It breaks my heart when I look back at this journey; the marches, the leads that we followed, the calls we made, the hope we still have in that someday a lead will take us to where she is or what happened to her.
As far as the investigation into Palesa’s disappearance goes, I’m still of the view that police did not do enough, that there could have been more that they got from her friend’s house in Phiri (Soweto). I still feel that the family is not telling all they know, I strongly believe that they still hold the key to unravel the mystery surrounding her disappearance.
I wish Tshidi’s uncle could come clean, I’m not in any way blaming him for her disappearance, but my gut tells me he knows something.
Tears fill my eyes at the thought that Tshidi’s grandmother may know something and has chosen to protect her family instead of coming clean. I can’t imagine what that must be like…
A few days ago a birdie whispered in my ear that in fact Palesa’s case has been handed to the Hawks; I will follow that lead and see what fruits that will bear….
I hope that it will shed some light. To her family and friends: keep praying – while we continue to dig and hope that someday we will find something tangible. To all of you out there: thank you for the support let’s keep searching for a breakthrough.
By Mpho Raphata (@Raphata)