WATCH | Tributes to slain teenager Machaka Radebe pour in, two other young women still missing
“We are hoping that Machaka is in peace ... She will forever be in our hearts.”
These words were spoken at 16-year-old Machaka Radebe's remembrance meeting on Tuesday. Fellow pupils wore black formal attire and listened to the emotional speeches about Radebe.
Radebe was reported missing from her home in Thakalekwala Street in Rocklands, Bloemfontein, on Saturday. It is alleged that when her brother phoned her cellphone to locate her, a man picked up and demanded money for her release.
Two days later, about 2am on Monday, Bloemspruit police received information about the body of a female found in a field near Phase 9. On arrival, police found Radebe's body with a stab wound in her back. She was certified dead at the scene.
The murder has shaken many South Africans who have taken to social media to post tributes to the slain teenager.
Nazliegh Stanton posted some messages she shared with Machaka and said, “My dear, I am shattered into a million pieces. Your smile, you checking up on me, your hugs. Just receiving a text from you daily is what lightened up my off days,” she said.
una.thii_nkosi said, “Legit the love of my life! I am beyond heartbroken. I am shattered. A part of me left with you my girl. Nothing could have ever prepared me for this day! Rest well my baby. I love you immensely. The best little sister one could ever ask for,” she said on TikTok.
The MEC of education in the Free State, Makalo Mohale, said, “It is really deplorable that a normal human being will do what he/she did to this innocent soul. I am deeply sad. This is satanic and devilish indeed. We call on members of the community to work with law enforcement urgently to bring who ever did this book.”
Mohale said counselling has been provided to fellow learners and teachers at the school.
However, Radebe wasn't the only young woman to go missing in recent weeks. There have been two other cases of missing people opened at Bloemfontein police stations.
Lesego Mamello Motaung, 22, was reported missing on October 30 while 23-year-old Lerato Masiu was reported missing on November 16.
Free State provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Baile Motswenyane has instructed the investigating team to bring Radebe's culprit to book and to bring back Lesego Mamello Motaung and Lerato Masiu.
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