Thembisile Yende

Johannesburg - Murdered Eskom employee Thembisile Yende was injected with a drug to weaken her, before she was beaten and strangled at an electricity-supply substation.

This was heard during the second day of murder accused David Ngwenya’s bail application hearing in the Springs Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

The investigating officer, Colonel Christo Lotz, told the court that the post-mortem showed that Yende had fought back, but was apparently overpowered by the 44-year-old and two other men.

It was heard on Monday that the 30-year-old woman was going to expose illegal dealings in copper involving Ngwenya.

Ngwenya, who confirmed that he is an Eskom employee, has denied that he committed premeditated murder.

The State argued that the case should be viewed as a schedule six offence.

The two men who allegedly helped Ngwenya are still at large.

“He (Ngwenya) warned the men that their secret was no longer safe and that she must be killed,” said Lotz in relation to the copper dealings.

The officer testified that Yende’s body was kept hidden for three days and was later dumped in a storeroom to give the impression that she had committed suicide.

Ngwenya was arrested after a witness made a statement to the police.

He was also pointed out in an identity parade by the same witness.

Lotz told the court that the witness had fled Soweto after a threat was made on his life.

The court heard that another key witness, who is related to one of the accused, had come forward stating that the men had allegedly asked him not to identify them by protecting them as he was a traditional healer.

This was questioned by Ngwenya’s advocate, François Roets, who said it was impossible for an individual to do so.

Lotz said Ngwenya was allegedly romantically involved with Yende, but Ngwenya denied this.

It was revealed in the affidavit that was read to the court that Ngwenya was employed at Eskom and was married with three children.

The State argued that Ngwenya shouldn’t get bail because had a passport and was a flight risk, and that he could jeopardise the case as one witness had already gone missing.

Yende’s mother, Nest, said she had emails proving that things had turned sour between the accused and her daughter.

“That is my proof that I will show to the judge,” she said.

She added that she opposed bail for murderers. “No bail. Justice must be served,” she said.

On Thursday, Ngwenya will hear whether he will be granted bail.

The Star