One year later … — Flora’s court case dragging on

MOTLHASEDI — Monday 30 April 2018 marked one whole year since 29- year-old Flora Moatshe was killed while walking home in the early hours of a Sunday.

The late Flora Moatshe

Flora’s disappearance was noticed by the community after her employers were notified that the shop she worked at was still closed at 13:00 on that Sunday. Her family thought she was at work.

Mogol Post first reported about Flora being missing in the 10 May 2017 edition.

At that time, it was reported that Flora was in the company of two young boys after she had just closed the liquor shop in Motlhasedi Village and was heading home. Her ex-boyfriend, the 31-year-old Steve Mfisa, reportedly showed up from nowhere and started an argument with Flora before stabbing her with a knife and taking her with him against her will.

The boys told Police that Steve gave them the blood-stained knife he used to stab Flora and promised them he would not harm her. It was the last time she was seen alive and it took eight weeks before Mfisa pointed out a shallow grave near the Phalala River to the police on 7 June 2017.

Ever since the case has been emotionally draining to the family, as to date, Flora’s remains have not been buried. Police say forensic tests still have to prove that the body they found is indeed Flora’s body. Two previous forensic tests came back negative.

Flora stayed with her very old and blind grandmother and three children, including a 6-year-old girl who have all moved away from Lephalale as there is currently no one to look after them.

Last year it was reported that her 11- and 14-year-old boy needed counselling as they were traumatised by the ordeal. They were reportedly part of the witnesses at the river banks when Flora’s decomposed body was exhumed.

Family representative Dipuo Moatshe says they are very upset and have lost hope.

“A year is just too much. We have accepted Flora’s death and all we want to do is bury her and move on. We don’t even know what to do anymore but I can tell you the case has been very frustrating and emotionally draining,” she said.

On 12 April 2018 murder accused Steve Mfisa appeared at Palala Magistrates Court in Thabo Mbeki. In the cross examination that lasted approximately 45 minutes, Mfisa told the court that he used his bare hands to fatally assault Flora, before burying her in a shallow grave.

The court also heard that Mfisa used the spade from Flora’s house to dig up the shallow grave and bury her.

The investigating officer was not present in court and this resulted in the case being postponed to 10 May 2018, when cross examination will continue.

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