Philile Gumede of Soshanguve has been missing since April 2017. Picture: Supplied
Philile Gumede of Soshanguve has been missing since April 2017. Picture: Supplied

Mystery of woman not heard of for two years

By CHELSEA NTULI Time of article published Sep 27, 2019

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Pretoria - The family of Philile Gumede, who went missing in April 2017, said they no longer had faith that the police would find her.

Her younger sister Zandile opened a case of missing persons after Gumede did not report for work at the time.

The 28-year-old was last seen on April 22, 2017, at Soshanguve Crossing Mall in the company of her then boyfriend Edwin Steynberg.

“It has been really hard because its been very long now. It has been affecting my family so badly, especially my aunt, who is not coping” she said.

She said their mother was struggling with diabetes and the news of her missing daughter had taken its toll on her.

The family suspected Steynberg knew where their sister was because nobody else had seen her since she had been seen with him last. He was previously detained in connection with the disappearance, but released.

Zandile claimed he held the answers to the questions which had remained unanswered for more than two years.

“I have tried to speak to Steynberg and asked him to tell us where Philile is, but he told me he dropped her off at Soshanguve Crossing and claimed it was all he knew,” she said.

Zandile said the police were still investigating the matter and had not made any arrests. She said investigators told her that CCTV footage of the mall was checked and no sight of Steynberg or Gumede being at the mall was found.

She also said the investigators were seemingly not taking the case seriously as she had been getting mixed responses every time she sought an update.

“One day we are told one thing, the next day we are told something else I don’t know what to believe anymore.”

Originally from Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, Zandile said her sister had studied teaching at the Tshwane University of Technology.

Soshanguve police spokesperson Constable Portia Sebone said that while the investigating officer involved could not be reached for any updates, information on the matter could not be released as the case was still under investigation.

The day before she disappeared, Gumede had graduated with an honours in teaching, and was a teacher at Baleseng Secondary School in Soshanguve.

Zandile said she hoped her sister would be found alive.

Pretoria News 

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