EVEN after the burial of the remains of a retired Pretoria lecturer who went missing in 2010, his family is still struggling to come to terms with his death.
Abraham Moema of GaRankuwa, North West, was reported missing in March 2010 and his remains were only found in June last year. The gruesome discovery of his remains in a shallow grave in his house's backyard, was made by paving contractors who were employed by his daughter.
The contractors alerted the police, who exhumed the remains. An investigation indicated that the deceased had been stabbed to death.
Moema's wife, Martha, and children Nkgopotse, Moseki and Matlhodi have all been charged with his murder. They will appear in the GaRankuwa Magistrate's Court on September 5. Matlhodi is out on bail and the other three are still remanded in custody.
Moema's brother, Ezekiel, though he was relieved that Abraham's remains had eventually been found, said he still had difficulty accepting his death.
"After conducting DNA tests, the police called us in April saying the bones were indeed my brother's and that was a relief," he said after the funeral on Saturday.
What was even worse, Ezekiel said, was the realisation that Abraham's own family could have been responsible for his murder.
"I haven't gathered enough courage to go and see them in prison, but when I eventually do I'll ask them what his last words were. I heard that he was tied up and repeatedly stabbed by his own children. It was like reading a James Hadley Chase book. It was so unreal," he said.
Recalling the time he had spent looking for his brother, Ezekiel said he even left South Africa in an attempt to locate him.
"While I was in exile I used to stay in Botswana. He once visited me in the 1980s and I tried looking for him there without any success. I kept hearing that he had left his wife and was staying with a new girlfriend in Pretoria north, though I had my doubts. The man was old enough and knowing him he didn't seem like the type to abandon his family. I had been looking forward to watch the (2010 Fifa) World Cup with him, so when he went missing I was disappointed. I then decided to stop looking because I had looked everywhere. But not once did I think he could be dead. So when my niece called in June last year saying he had been found I was really distraught." sowetan