WHEN the family and friends of murdered Thembisile Yende gathered on Saturday to say their final goodbyes, her funeral became a political battlefield.

Speaking at the funeral in KwaThema, Ekurhuleni, Zwelinzima Vavi, the South African Federation of Trade Unions general secretary, lashed out at the police and Eskom.

Addressing Ben Ngubane, the Eskom board chairman, Vavi said: “There is nothing more shameful than the fact that workers go to work to sell their strength and end up selling their lives.”

Vavi said Thembisile died at work, where she was supposed to be protected.

He accused the police of not doing their job efficiently.

Thembisile’s body was found in her locked office at an Eskom substation more than 10 days after she was reported missing.

The funeral was attended by several dignitaries, including Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane and Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi.

When it was his turn to speak, Ngubane defended Eskom against Vavi.

“We would not like people to think that Eskom is a bad organisation.

“It’s a caring organisation.

“We are very concerned about the wellness of our people and we want to make sure that electricity is affordable for all.”

Ngubane said Eskom was very sorry that Thembisile had been assaulted and killed on the utility’s premises.

“But let us leave the investigation to the police.

“They will find the perpetrators as they have found them in other cases where women and children were killed.”

Ngubane added that Thembisile had been a promising employee who was on the verge of being promoted.

She was laid to rest at Vlakfontein Cemetery in Nigel, Ekurhuleni.

Her mum Nester was so heartbroken that she had to be helped to the grave to pour soil on the coffin.

Source: Daily sun