Pretoria - A city family is having sleepless nights after their daughter, a Tshwane Metro Police officer, disappeared two weeks ago.
Now the family of Constable Mable Dimakatso Peete, 29, fear she could have suffered a similar fate to policewoman Constable Frances Rasuge, who disappeared in August 2004. Eventually Rasuge’s boyfriend, WIlliam Nkuna, was arrested, convicted of murder and sentenced to life in jail without her body having been found. Rasuge’s remains were only recovered this year under the foundation of a house on Nkuna’s property.
“We fear we are heading for a Rasuge situation,” Peete’s younger brother Samuel said on Sunday.
Peete, 29, who started working for the metro police in 2008, was last seen on the morning of Monday, November 19, when she left her Soshanguve home. She told her mother she had to attend an early work-related meeting.
Samuel said she had also indicated that she would be going to the house of her boyfriend in Olievenhoutbosch to drop off keys and collect some belongings.
Her family assumed she was with her boyfriend when she did not come home, but they became concerned when her phone went unanswered. Last week, they phoned her employer and were told she had not been at work for more than a week. The family then opened a missing person case at the Rietgat police station.
Samuel said his sister was not the type of person who would go away without informing her family where she was going or be absent from work without leave.
He said she had been living with her boyfriend for the past two years, but had decided recently to return home.
According to him, her boyfriend had brought her belongings on November 15 but she had called him to say there was more clothing. “He called her on November 18 and told her to meet him at a corner on our street to collect her clothes. But he did not have her clothes and wanted her to go to Olievenhoutbosch with him. She refused,” he said.
According to Samuel, he spoke to his sister’s boyfriend last Friday, but he claimed he knew nothing.
“He also told me that he was still waiting for his key. He knows where my family lives, why didn’t he come fetch his key?” he asked.
Peete’s mother, Margaret, said she had been searching for her daughter ever since she had gone missing. She had gone to the elders of her church, the Zion Christian Church, for prayers and even consulted a prophet.
“This is affecting me badly. I toss and turn at night. I went to the church to ask for prayers. I even today went to where where they told me that someone had kidnapped her and was keeping her,” said the distraught mother.
Margaret said she would only feel better once her daughter was found.
Police spokesman Warrant Officer Lolo Mangena confirmed that a case had been opened. He said the Peete family had told police they had tracked down the boyfriend, but he said he was in Cape Town and had not seen her.
“Investigations are continuing. We have gone to her workplace looking for leads, but they are also in the dark about her whereabouts,” he said.
The metro police commander for the central region, which includes the CBD, Vusi Nkuna, said they were also investigating.
He said Peete had always called in if she could not make it to work and that all their calls to her had gone unanswered.
Nkuna said he did not want to speculate what might have happened to Peete, but was hopeful their investigations would yield positive results. Asked if her bank account was being used, Nkuna said: “Police have not informed us of any activities regarding the use of her account or cellphone.”
Nkuna said the disappearance was a huge blow for the unit as they needed all their members to be active during the festive season. “It is as though one link in the department is missing,” he said.