Family receives text messages from beyond the grave

Ranjinee Govender and her son Leo who died in February. The family says there are many unanswered questions surrounding his death. | FACEBOOK

Ranjinee Govender and her son Leo who died in February. The family says there are many unanswered questions surrounding his death. | FACEBOOK

Published Apr 8, 2024


Durban — The family of make-up artist Leo Govender is desperately trying to piece together the events that occurred in the last hour of his life before he died in Durban almost three months ago.

Govender, a well-known figure in the beauty industry went missing in February shortly after leaving a Durban club where he had spent the night partying with a former colleague. When he failed to return home his family notified the police and sent out messages to various people asking for information about his whereabouts. More than a week later they managed to track down his body at the Phoenix Mortuary.

On Saturday his sister Revaska said they were preparing for his three-month Hindu prayer ceremony following his death, but they could not find closure because there were still too many unanswered questions.

“As far as police are concerned the case is closed. They feel that Leo was missing and now he's found, so why are we concerned? Why do we need further information,” she said.

According to the police, Govender died when he was knocked down by a taxi in Umbilo. A taxi driver was questioned but no one has been arrested in connection with the incident.

However, Revaska said it didn't make sense for her brother to be walking in that area late at night and ordinarily he would've taken a taxi from the club. He was also very particular about being at home by a certain time and so when he wasn’t they became worried. They managed to watch the club’s CCTV footage but haven’t gained any useful information.

A police post-mortem was done and then the family commissioned a private autopsy. According to the reports he died of “blunt force trauma”. Revaska says he might have been knocked down by a taxi but it doesn't explain the wounds he had in the temple area on both sides of his face.

And so they retraced his steps and went to all the places he had been on that fateful Friday. So far they’ve hit a dead end and the police haven't found any new clues either.

“We don't know how to move forward because now they're just basically passing the buck from one police station to another police station”.

Revaska said at the time of his disappearance Govender had come into a large sum of money which was paid out as compensation following an accident in which his car was written off. She wondered if there was a link to his death.

“My brother was a very open person and he would've told people about the money,” she said.

In addition, a large amount of money was transferred out of his bank account after he died and they haven't been able to establish where the money went. His cellphone was also missing and a few weeks ago her mom and one other person also received a WhatsApp message from his account which still showed his profile picture.

The message to her mom was a simple “hi” said Revaska, the other message said, “can you help me”. They haven't been able to trace where the phone is or who has it. The family contacted a private investigator at the time when Govender went missing but Revaska said it was too costly to get one to investigate the case.

At the time when they were looking for him, they reached out to a psychic for help and Revaska said they might have to do it again in an attempt to find closure.

“My mom and I were thinking about doing a crossing over…I think for myself I’d mostly just want to apologise to Leo because I feel like any time I was in trouble he was always there for me if I couldn't do something or was going through something. I don't feel like I'm doing enough for him and I don't know what to do. I was thinking of the psychic that helped us track Leo because maybe she's got that connection already you know, just to check on him on the other side and tell him that I don't know if I'm getting anywhere.”

Revaska says she, Govender and their brother Wayne were not just siblings but also best friends. They even used to take leave from work at the same time to be with each other.

Sunday Tribune