OFM News reports that the Free State police spokesperson, Motantsi Makhele, confirmed to OFM News on Monday that the teen, Rethabile Velelo, was last seen in the presence of her boyfriend at the Loch Logan Waterfront in the Free State Capital on Sunday. The couple reportedly had lunch together and left the mall just before 18:00.
Makhele says Velelo walked her boyfriend to the taxi rank in the Bloemfontein city centre and that was the last time she was seen. She was donning a black skirt and white shirt at the time. The circumstances around her disappearance are unclear, but there are rumours on the ground that she was in the presence of a relative the whole time. This is yet to be confirmed.
A week ago, the country mourned and remembered the life of 19-year-old University of Cape Town (UCT) student, Uyinene Mrwetyana, who was raped and killed at the Clareinch Post Office a year ago.
Mrwetyana was reported missing after she was last seen inquiring about a package at the post office in question, days before her body was found dumped in Khayelitsha. Post office worker Luyanda Botha was charged for the crime and later handed three life sentences for raping and bludgeoning the 19-year-old student to death with a scale. Her gruesome murder sparked nationwide outrage and protests.
On Saturday, civil society groups marched to Parliament on Saturday against the rising instances of gender-based violence, farm murders, and other violent crimes in the country.
Monday also marked the end of Women’s Month.