As political party election posters start to line streets across the country ahead of the upcoming general elections, for a mother from Winterveldt, north of Pretoria, the colourful banners are a painful reminder of her missing son.
For almost six months Nondlela Dhladhla and her family have frequented hospitals, state mortuaries and even police stations all in the hopes of locating her 40-year-old epileptic son, Elias Molwayedwa Skhosana.
Skhosana went missing and is yet to return home after he attended the EFF’s 10th anniversary rally held at the FNB Stadium in Soweto on July 29.
According to the mother, Skhosana, her eldest son, had gone to the rally along with the Lesedi Gospel Choir, of which he was a member.
Dhladhla said her son had disappeared without a trace following the rally, and more worryingly without taking any of the medication for his epilepsy disorder.
Epilepsy is described as a brain disease where nerve cells don’t signal properly, which causes seizures. Seizures can result in uncontrolled change sensations, behaviours, awareness and muscle movements.
Attempts to follow up with the local EFF also proved futile as the mother said they too were unable to find her son and had instead told them that some people who had got lost were taken to the Booysens police station, and a truck was dispatched to go find them, but to no avail.
Looking to the new year, Dhladhla said seeing political posters put up along lamp-posts and walls around her community was a bitter-sweet reminder of what she had lost.
The elderly mother said all she was left to do was to call on the community to help her locate her son, while also blaming herself for allowing him to go, despite her husband’s caution.
“I’ve had countless sleepless nights crying and stressing about where my son is and if he is all right. Things have gotten so bad that this whole situation has started to affect my health badly.
“All I want is to know where my son is. I simply want closure even if he is dead. My birthday is around the corner and I can’t even celebrate it because my first-born son is still missing for almost six months now, this is too traumatic,” she wrote on her WhatsApp status.
EFF Tshwane regional secretary Blessing Mashabela alleged that the party had worked tirelessly to assist the family in locating Skhosana with no success to date.
Mashabela said the organisation had been hurt and frustrated at the disappearance of Skhosana as they had visited countless hospitals and mortuaries alongside the family, even going as far as offering a R10 000 reward for information on his whereabouts.
“We ended up getting so many false leads about where he could be, at one point we even ended up in the North West but nothing. We took the decision to simply hire a private investigator and we’re hoping they will have better success in finding him.”