News - Date: 23 January 2012
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It is almost a month and half after the dissappearance of Philemon Mukhese.
Mukhese (27) of Mangondi outside Thohoyandou went missing on 3 December 2011, after being taken to Tshilidzini hospital in an ambulance. Mukhese had suffered injuries after a scuffle with a former colleague at a local tavern. He has not been seen since.
Ms Selinah Mukhese, an aunt of the missing man, said they were called to the local bar at around 08:00 on a Saturday. “We rushed there after being told that he had been attacked and was injured. We found him in the lounge with blood all over his body,” she said.
She said they persuaded him to go to the hospital for treatment. “While we were still discussing the matter, an ambulance arrived. They gave him treatment on the spot and asked us who was to accompany the injured man to hospital. We decided that his brother should accompany him, but when the time came for them to leave, they refused to take him along and took our son away alone,” she said.
She said they only realised that he was missing the following Monday when they went to visit him at the hospital. “When we arrived at the hospital, no one could shed light as to the whereabouts of our son. We searched all the wards and everywhere, but with no luck,” she said.
She said they hade tried everything to locate him, even going to inyangas, who keep on telling them he is still alive. “All we want are answers of what really happened to our son. We want nothing more than the man himself,” she said.
She said she is worried that the ambulance people had refused to take along a member of the family, but could not account for their missing son. The young man's uncle, Mr Alpheus Mukhese, said the loss of a loved one had brought a lot of heartache to the family. “We could not even enjoy the festive season with others. We had to cancel most of the activities that involved the family and we concentrated on looking for our son,” he said.
He said they were worried as a family because the father of the man seemed to be losing his mind. He said the mother kept on crying and calling the name of the missing man. “We are greatly saddened as this whole incident is tearing the family apart. We have taken the father to a faraway place as he cannot concentrate,” he said.
Mukhese said the Department of Health owed them some answers about the dissapearance of their son. “We fear the worst must have happened to him. We want to know what happened to him, but they are now distancing themselves from his disappearance. The department must tell us what happened to him,” he said.
Livhuwani Mamagau, the wife of the missing man, said his dissappearance was a big loss to the family. “He used to do some piece jobs and bring back some food for us all, but we are now suffering,” she said.
Limpopo Health Department's spokesperson, Mr Joe Maila, said he was still outside the office and would respond after checking the records. At the time of going to press, he had not responded.
Meanwhile, the Thohoyandou police appealed to members of the community who might have seen the missing man to please contact them.
Mukhese has been described as dark in complexion, slender and tall. He was last seen wearing a brown denim jean, a brown shirt and brown shoes.
Those who might see him are requested to inform the Thohoyandou police at 015 960 1000.