Ms Brenda Ndovhe.

“We feel our community is not safe”


The recent discovery of the body of a 49-year-old woman on the campus of the University of Venda is sending shockwaves throughout the campus and the community.

Both the provincial police spokesperson, Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi, and Univen spokesperson, Takalani Dzaga, confirmed that Ms Brenda Ndovhe’s body was found in the furrow next a laboratory at about 06:00 on Friday. "She was found by other employees when they came to report for work. She had open wounds on her head, possibly inflicted by a bloodstained pair of scissors that was found next to her. She might have been raped as her clothes were found placed next to her," said Mulaudzi.

Dzaga confirmed that the victim was an employee of a private company that is contracted to do cleaning at the institution. "It looks like the incident happened when she was preparing to report for duty, as she was one of the cleaners," said Dzaga.

One of Ndovhe’s three children, Ms Rudzani Masia (31), told Limpopo Mirror that they were still in shock after the news of their mother's death.  She said they were informed that her mother had been left behind at the gate while she was being searched by security guards, when her colleague walked to the building that she was supposed to report in.

"After some time passed, her colleague, realizing that our mother was not reporting at her work station, phoned her. A man answered and stated that she was lying unconscious next to the clinic building. My mother’s colleague rushed to the scene and found her body. Her cell phone and handbag were missing," said Masia.

Meanwhile, Dzaga said the management is very concerned about killings that are happening on the campus. Earlier this year, a student was found dead next to the same spot where Ndovhe was found. Her hand was broken and it was also suspected that she was raped before she was strangled. On 13 May last year, a student, Takalani Mbulungeni of Vhurivhuri village, was also stabbed to death on the campus. Recently, two children under the age of nine were found raped and strangled to death in Thohoyandou, not far from the university campus.

"This is very bad. We feel that our community is not safe on the campus. Unfortunately, it is not possible for our security personnel to be available everywhere on campus. As management, we are in the process in putting technological measures in place that will help us to monitor movement on campus," said Dzaga.

He also mentioned that the campus security personnel are working very closely with the police to establish the reason behind Ndovhe’s death. “Considering the other killings, we are investigating the possibility of a serial killer roaming in the area,” he added.

Mulaudzi appealed to the community to assist with information that can lead to the arrest and successful prosecution of the possible killers.

In his state-of-the-district address that was held at Tshaulu last Wednesday, the executive mayor of Vhembe, Cllr Tshitereke Matibe, also raised his concern about the killings. Matibe said he was suspicious that a serial killer might be on the loose, considering the recent killing of the two school girls. He also urged the community to help the police with information that can lead to the arrest of whoever is responsible.

Vhavenda King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana also added his voice to those who are protesting against the killings. Mphephu Ramabulana said he was appealing to community members to help the police with information, while Vhamusanda Vho-Thivhulawi Makumbane of Tshisaulu, where Ndovhe comes from, said he was touched by her death. "Ndovhe comes from a very poor background. She was raised by relatives as her parents died while she was still young.  Now her younger children will grow up with no parent, as Ndovhe was a single parent," said Makumbane before he broke down in tears.

Former Minister Sydney Mufamadi, Ndovhe's ex-employer, also sent his condolences to the family. Ndovhe worked as a domestic servant at Mufamadi's house in Pretoria for five years. She also worked for seven years for different cleaning companies at Univen.

No funeral arrangements had been finalised at the time of going to press, but it is expected that she will be buried at Tshisahulu tomorrow (Saturday).

Attempts to get comment from the SRC at Univen proved fruitless as the president, Mr Uhuru Mofokeng, could not be reached.

A shocked Muhuliseni Ndovhe (daughter) and Ms Merriam Ndove, mother of the deceased.
Florah Mulaudzi (Brenda's cousin), Rudzani Masia (her first-born child) and Cynthia Ndovhe (Brenda's younger sister), photographed in front of Brenda's home.

Date:25 July 2014

By: Ndivhuwo Musetha

Read: 5081







Recent Articles