The Cane Testing Service (CTS) and Illovo Sezela Mill have been left devastated after the tragic loss of a young and brilliant lab analyst who had a very bright future ahead of her.
The tragic death of 22-year-old Asithandile Mtyeku, who was based at the Sezela Mill, happened during the month of August which is dedicated to fighting the scourge of violence directed at women and children. Her life was brutally taken from her on 11 August 2019. The incident left a trail of devastation and shock as employees struggled to come to terms with the violent murder of a beautiful and intelligent young lady who had so much to live for. Asi, as she was fondly known, was also a breadwinner for her family in the Mount Free, Eastern Cape.
Asi’s memorial service was held on 21 August 2019 to remember and celebrate the good and productive times spent with her during her tenure at CTS. It also served as a moment for her colleagues to say their last goodbyes and find closure to the traumatic experience. Asi’s family also attended the memorial service.
Asi’s death has prompted Illovo and CTS employees to get together and send a message of awareness and empowerment to women and men at large. They embarked on a campaign with a powerful and clear message that says, “We stand against women and children abuse”. The message is to empower women to be aware of the early signs of abuse and encourage them to seek assistance before things get out of hand. It is also urging women to support each another to overcome these challenging moments. On the other hand, men are urged to speak out, seek assistance, and change the mindset of how manhood is perceived in a patriarchal society. The campaign is driving a message home that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but (of) wisdom. Together we can change the world. One life lost is one too many.
Asithandile was such a young, hard-working, career driven individual with so much potential – she was stolen from her family, colleagues and the community. Gone too soon! But her memory will live forever.
Lungile Mgobhozi is HR Manager at SASA