Missing granny found naked, near death

Sukulwenkosi Dube Plumtree Correspondent
AN 83-year-old Bulilima granny was found naked and unconscious having gone missing for four days.

Villagers found a frail Esther Ngwenya from Ndiweni area lying close to a stream on Sunday morning.

She died a few hours later upon arrival at Ndiweni Clinic.

Chief Mpini whose jurisdiction covers the area said Ngwenya left her homestead for Diba where there was a funeral. He said the old woman is suspected to have lost direction on her way back – straying for about 40km from the path she was supposed to use.

“There’s an incident of an old woman who disappeared from the village for four days and was found in a terrible state. She left Diba area on December 30 at around 10AM,” said Chief Mpini.

“Her relatives gave her some grocery and they escorted her and left her along the way to proceed alone. They diverted from the main road and used a short cut, which passes through a bushy area in order to save time but that’s probably the reason why the old woman got lost.”

He said the woman diverted from her course and proceeded into Sibantubanye Farm until she reached a stream close to a thick forest.

Upon receiving news on her disappearance, said the Chief, villagers launched a search, which only ended on Sunday morning when they found her.

“The old woman was travelling on foot and her relatives suggested that instead of using the main road, which is a longer route, she could use a short cut. It appears she failed to negotiate her way.

“Some villagers said they met the old woman but they assumed that she knew where she was going,” said Chief Mpini.

He said the old woman will be buried at her homestead in Ndiweni area tomorrow.

A fellow villager who participated in the search, Owen Dube, said the old woman was still alive when they found her but could not speak.

He said she was naked with pieces of her clothes hanging from nearby trees.

Dube said they assumed that Ngwenya had suffered from starvation and dehydration as she did not have any visible injuries on her body.

He said they rushed her to Ndiweni Clinic where she died upon admission.


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