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Mother wants justice after daughter’s remains found in Welkom mineshaft

───   KEKELETSO MOSEBETSI 09:55 Tue, 11 Jun 2024

Mother wants justice after daughter’s remains found in Welkom mineshaft | News Article
Aggrieved mother of Thato Tumahole, whose charred body was discovered at a mineshaft in Welkom, Pulane Tumahole. Photo: Screenshot

“My child Thato would still have been alive; her life was cut short by that boy.”

The mother of a young woman whose burnt body was discovered in a mineshaft at Welkom has made a heartfelt plea to law enforcement agencies to take stronger action against those responsible for her daughter’s death.

Pulane Tumahole’s call for justice comes amid ongoing grief and anguish over the loss of her daughter, Thato Tumahole.

Thato was reported missing by Pulane when she failed to return home at around 18:00 on 10 May after visiting friends. According to Pulane, Thato was not with her friends or with her boyfriend. Mamello Katleho Seape (22) stated that he last saw Thato at around 13:30 on the day of her disappearance.

Six days after Thato was reported missing, Seape was arrested to face charges of obstruction of justice and the violation of human remains. The circumstances surrounding Thato’s disappearance and subsequent death remain under investigation, with many questions still unanswered.

In an emotional interview with the SABC, Pulane expressed her heartbreak and confusion. “My child Thato would have still been alive; her life was cut short by that boy.

“I don’t think he has answers about why he did that, but as time goes on, maybe he will tell us why he did that. I understand he killed her, but why did he burn her body?

‘I will be burying my child’s bones without any proper structure’

“Even if he was trying to hide evidence of whatever he’s done, it is very painful that, in the end, I will be burying my child’s bones without any proper structure. I plead with the law to take its course.”

Last week, Free State police confirmed yet another DNA result of another female who went missing. Sibongile Portia Ngwana’s remains were discovered on the M10 in November last year.

Her family expressed relief at knowing they would be burying their daughter’s remains, bringing some measure of closure after months of uncertainty.

Thokozile Nogabe, a GBV activist from Buang Basadi (Speak Out Women), shared her mixed emotions after receiving the call confirming the DNA results for Ngwana. “I was excited; I was emotional. The emotional part was that we waited for a very long time.

“Remember, Sibongile Ngwana disappeared on 26 November. The exciting part of it was that finally the Ngwana family would find closure, and as Buang Basadi, we have been supporting the family and wanting justice for the past six months for Sibongile, we were very excited.”

Thokozile Nogabe, a GBV activist from Buang Basadi (Speak Out Women). Photo: Screengrab

The recent cases of Thato Tumahole and Sibongile Portia Ngwana are part of a troubling pattern of violence against women in the Free State. 

This past weekend, two other women were reported missing by their boyfriends, further heightening concerns within the community.

The recurring incidents of GBV and the horrific circumstances surrounding these disappearances and deaths have sparked calls for urgent and decisive action from law enforcement.

Community members and activists demand increased resources, better protective measures, and a more robust judicial response to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable and that such tragedies do not continue.

OFM News/Kekeletso Mosebetsi cg/mvh

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