Death in the kitchen
LAID TO REST: Kumbulani Gideon


The family of a woman found dead in her house in Tsamaya are adamant that her former lover and workmate, Lazarus Elias is the killer.

To compound the family’s misery, they believe the Police could have saved their sister as she allegedly lodged a ‘threat to kill’ complaint against Elias three days before she was killed.

38-year-old Kumbulani Gideon, who was buried at her home village Themashanga last Saturday, was found dead in her house on 8th September by her concerned sister and relatives.

A cook at Shanganani Junior School in Tsamaya, the deceased was last seen leaving her work place on Friday afternoon.

She was never to return.

“Her colleagues said she planned to come back as she had left some of her items in the kitchen,” revealed her distraught sister Tebogo Gideon, 32, who was among the first to see Kumbulani’s ‘badly bruised body’.

The young Gideon told The Voice that they became worried when Kumbulani did not call as she usually does on weekends.

She said the school’s Boarding Master, who also wondered about Kumbulani’s whereabouts, called her on Friday night only to reach her voicemail.

“Concerned, the Master called my mother and together with my younger sister we left for Tsamaya on Saturday morning.

“We knocked on her door and got no answer. But with the help of neighbours we managed to open the window – that’ s when we saw her lying face down on her bed,” narrated Tebogo, adding that she knew instantly her sister was dead.

She further said what looked like traditional medicine was found inside a two litre bottle next to Kumbulani’s motionless body.

“I strongly believe it was an attempt by Elias to cover his tracks, he wanted this to look like suicide,” she surmised, her eyes flashing with anger.

Tebogo said while they fiddled with the door, Elias called one of the cooks at the scene and asked her if they had found Kumbulani.

“After making that call, he abandoned the pots in the kitchen and fled.

“The post mortem from the police states that she died of suffocation and that there was a blood clot in her brain caused by repeated punching,” continued Tebogo, pausing for a second and then adding vehemently, “He killed her!

“In fact my sister reported a threat to kill case on Wednesday, but the police did not act,” she revealed, before delving into the former lovers stormy past.

According to Tebogo, Elias, who’s a married man, had a hatched a plan to syphon money from her sister.

Tebogo believes he deliberately made sure that his wife caught them so she could sue.

“My sister was heartbroken because she knew Elias set her up, and did nothing to help her with the suit.

“My sister was charged P20, 000 for marriage wrecking and Elias boasted in the village that his wife will soon receive her retirement package, referring to the P20, 000.”

Ashamed and scared, Kumbulani agreed to pay P500 per month and had already paid three instalments when someone advised her to appeal the matter.

“She appealed the case and was reimbursed her P1, 500. It was this ruling that angered Elias, he wanted revenge and he never left my sister alone.

“On the fateful Friday afternoon Elias went to my sister’s house and killed her. He also stole ‘motshelo’ money because my sister was the treasurer. Everyone knows he took the money because on that Friday night he went on a drinking spree while my sister was rotting in her house,” concluded an emotional Tebogo, trembling with disgust.

The deceased’s 21-year-old son Derrick Gideon is likewise convinced Elias only wanted to get money from his mother.

“I remember when my mother was cleared of marriage wrecking charges, he wanted to take an appeal upon an appeal. Who does that, especially if you were the reason there was a case in the first place?” Derrick demanded.

It was all the young man was prepared to say as he struggles to come to terms with his mother’s untimely death.

Meanwhile, when reached for comment Tshesebe Station Commander Amos Kekgathetse confirmed that Elias is helping them with their investigations into the matter.

“These is the first murder case in our jurisdiction,” added Amos glumly.

Elias is currently under remand and is due to appear before Masunga Magistrate Court for his second mention in October.

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