Family loses hope as days turn into months with no sign of son’s return
The family of a Kanye young man who went missing three months ago have expressed suspicions that he might have been killed for ritual purposes.
24-year old Modirinyana Chabadisele went missing on April 21 under controversial circumstances, sparking allegations among the superstitious section of society that he was abducted for ritual murder by a local medicine man.
Angry members of the community who led the search for the young man demanded to take the law into their own hands in a revolt that turned bloody as police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to control the excited crowd.
About seven people were detained during the furore, sending a stern warning to anyone who dared continue the search, But this week as she sits forlornly on her doorstep, Modirinyana’s mother Ontlametse only has fond memories of her son.
“He was a very disciplined child and together with his twin-brother, Modiri, they made me such a happy mother.
Every time I eat I wonder what he has eaten wherever he is and in this biting winter I wonder what he is wearing,” she says as she squints her eyes in vivid recollections of the last time she saw him.
“I don’t think he was wearing anything warmer than a long-sleeved shirt and I hope, if he’s alive whoever abducted him is feeding and keeping him warm.
As her gaze returns, the 68-year old Ontlametse tells of the anxiety that her son’s disappearance has caused amongst some villagers and the animosity it has stirred among some. “When we didn’t find him in the early days of the search, most people especially his peers became very angry and demanded answers.
There were also insinuations that I may have been involved in my own son’s disappearance. We involved churches and traditional doctors who prophesied that he was still alive and being kept in a dark place.
It was then that fingers started to point and although I never pointed to anyone myself, a certain man in Goo-Kgano ward tells people that he’ll sue me because I said he was responsible for the abduction. I’m not interested in that though. I’m carrying a heavy heart and I pray to God everyday for the return of my son or at least to see his remains so that I can have some kind of closure,” she says with a look of forlorn resignation.
Modiri, the twin-brother joins us for the interview. Ever since his brother went missing he has never known peace. The only photograph of Modirinyana that the family had, has since been given to the police and he occasionally has to look in the mirror to remind himself of the man he’s lived with since birth. “He was not only a brother, but a friend too.
I really miss him and can’t get used to not knowing his whereabouts. It’s so painful and I pray to God that he returns one of these days.”
Paul Keitholetse- a traditional doctor famed for locating stolen property with his magic bowl has since pleaded for permission to search for Modirinyana. He proclaimed a month after the disappearance that Modirinyana was still alive and that he could easily find him. “I can’t search for him without legal authority, otherwise i’ll get arrested for trespassing. The earlier I get the permission the better,” he said at the time.
Senior Superintendent Dipheko Motube is aware of the case and says police investigations are still ongoing. “Unfortunately the law does not recognise superstitious practices and there is nothing we can do to give traditional doctors permission to search other people’s property.”
The villagers have since given up on the search following the violent confrontation with the police and as the attention now shifts to an impending court case involving seven rioters accused of inciting the violence, Modirinyana’s family hope to ever see their son again seems to diminish with every single passing day.