Police open enquiry into death of domestic worker at Estate

MBOMBELA –  Thandi Zitha (55) was found dead on October 1 at a residence in the estate. Brig Leonard Hlathi said SAPS had opened a murder inquiry regarding the circumstances surrounding Zitha’s death. “We are investigating the circumstances and if need be, we will exhume her body for an autopsy.”

Her mother, “Mama” Zitha, said they had received a call from Zitha’s employer to say they must meet him at the police station. “He told us to follow him to Martin’s Funeral Services and there we found Zitha’s body. He never told us what had happened to her.”

He then took the family to his house where he gave them her clothes in a dustbin bag. “She lived in Alexander in Bushbuckridge and had two children and two grandchildren who she solely supported.

“Her jaw had a gash, her clothes were full of bloodstains and she was bleeding from her nose. They said she died from natural causes. We had the funeral on October 6.”

Mama Zitha said it had been extremely difficult for the family emotionally, and they had to borrow money from a loan shark to bury her.

EFF Mpumalanga chairman Collen Sedibe said he assisted the family after they approached him for help and went with them to the police to open a murder case.

Hi-Tech Medical Services operations manager Freek Esterhuizen said he was called out to the house on the day Zitha’s body was discovered. “She was lying in a passage at the back of the house near the toilet.”

Esterhuizen said he had certified the death as natural causes. “I suspected it was a heart attack.”

He said the family had been away for the weekend and only discovered her body when they got back.

Sedibe told Lowvelder he could not understand why the police were not called to the scene. “Is this not normal procedure when a person is found dead?”

A solid SAPS source confirmed in a situation like this, the police should have been notified. “It is a different story if a person is sickly for a long time or elderly, otherwise, a body found should be reported.”

Her mother concluded that she is heartbroken as her daughter had worked for the family for seven years. “They did not even send us condolences.”

Shandon Estate security manager Phillip de Bruin said they were aware of the situation that had occurred at the estate. “We are giving our full cooperation to the police regarding this matter.”

  AUTHOR
Tereasa Dias
Journalist

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