Family cling to slim hope son is still alive
Although the body was burnt beyond recognition, the charred remains of a Mababe man who perished in a house fire on Saturday morning are likely to belong to Kefilwe Pekenene.
The 28-year-old was last seen in a drunken state on Friday night.
However, while all the indicators suggest it was Kefilwe’s corpse found in his mother’s burnt hut, until a pathologist confirms their worst fears, the family are clinging to the slim hope that their son might still be alive.
Speaking on behalf of the family this Tuesday, Kefilwe’s cousin, Alphius Pekenene, defiantly told The Voice, “We only suspect that the remains are his because he had suddenly gone missing, but we cannot certainly conclude that it was him until the pathological report is out.”
It is unsure how long the DNA test will take but the family are adamant they will not bury until they get medical confirmation Kefilwe is indeed dead. Until then, the bones will remain at Maun Mortuary.
Narrating the events of Friday night, Alphius, 23, revealed he checked on his cousin – who he refers to as his brother – at around 8pm.
“I found him with two of his friends. He was evidently drunk. He walked in an uncoordinated manner and I know he was intoxicated because he was drinking during the day.
“He then asked me to fetch water for him, so I took a bucket and left to get the water next door. I did not take long, but when I returned, they had all left so I put the water bucket at the doorstep and went back home,” said the visibly traumatised young man, explaining that Kefilwe lived a few yards away.
Speaking in hushed tones, Alphius said he was awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of ‘crackling and burning’.
“I went outside only to find my aunt’s house in the opposite yard was on fire. I was helpless. I looked around and realised that nobody was up. I was home alone and I believe some of the neighbours saw the fire as well, but because they did not react, I also went back to sleep.”
Alphius maintains he did seek help as Mababe is a wildlife-infested area and it’s too dangerous to leave your yard at night.
“In the morning, I went to inspect the burnt house because I knew the owners were not in. They had gone outside the village.”
He was in for a gory discovery that will haunt his nightmares for the rest of his life.
“I looked around and saw a white cup by the corner. As I reached for it, I saw a charred figure that looked like a human’s hand. When I looked closer, a black round ball fell and I was shocked to realise that it was somebody’s head.”
He immediately fled, screaming for help.
Everything in the house was burnt to ashes, the flames having spread through the thatched roof with frightening fury.
“Whoever was in there, their clothes were burnt as well and nothing except DNA can identify him/her,” Alphius maintains, adding he has no idea why Kefilwe would have left his home to stay at his mother’s place when she was out of town and the said hut was locked.
Meanwhile, Maun Police Station Commander, Chenamo Orateng, confirmed they are investigating the matter.