“Every day for the past 10 years, I think of my son and pray for justice. He didn’t deserve to die, not like that. He was only 21 and had his whole life ahead of him.”
These were the words of grief-stricken mother Roseley Govender who lost her only son in a heinous manner. The Phoenix mother still mourns and prays for justice after 10 torturous years since Bradley Denzil Govender’s death in 2008.
In an interview with The Phoenix Tabloid, Govender said she wants answers to her son’s death so she and her husband can find closure. The severely injured body of Bradley was found in a pool of blood on Aberdare Drive, near Gandhi Park on 16 November after he had allegedly been knocked down.
Relaying the events leading to the death of her son, Govender said, “Bradley left home with a friend the previous night around 10:30pm and didn’t return home. The following day, Sunday, 16 November he had still not returned, I became very concerned about him because he would never go somewhere and not return home. On Sunday night, we went to the Phoenix police station to report him missing. We were then told by the police that a body was found in the early hours of Sunday morning by police officers. On Monday, 17 November, we proceeded to the mortuary, where we identified his body.”
Govender said that her son was subjected to torture judging by the severity of his injuries. “My son was unrecognisable, his entire body was bruised and injured. The only way we could identify his body was from a tattoo of his name on his arm. I believe that he was repeatedly run over by a car, if he was merely knocked down by a car, he would have had less severe injuries. At the mortuary, they couldn’t put clothes on him, they just covered him up with his T-shirt and pants – we had a sealed coffin funeral as well, that’s how badly hurt he was,” said Govender.
According to Govender, a number plate was found at the scene where Bradley’s body was found. “The owner was contacted and claimed to have been at work at the time of the incident. I was baffled as to how his number plate landed there if he was at work. This was overlooked by detectives.
His death was intentional, someone out there is responsible for my son’s death and all I want is justice for my son,” she said.
She expressed her disappointment in the detectives who were handling the case. “I feel like the police didn’t do enough to get to the bottom of what really transpired that day. The guy that fetched him from home was briefly questioned and left to move on with his life while we mourned our son’s brutal death. After his funeral, I went to the police station every single day to enquire about the case.
“Every time I went to the station, I was told the case had gone from this detective to another and this went on for over two years. The detectives were of no value to us, every time we went to the station, we had to sit and wait like we were criminals when we were grieving. At some stage, the police told my husband and I to get the evidence and come to them – we had just lost a child, where were we supposed to get evidence regarding the death of our son?,” questioned Govender.
She said, she eventually stopped going to the station because detectives allegedly showed no interest in solving this case.
“I never got any answers but as the years go by, I need to know what happened to my child as a mother. Considering the manner in which he died, the injuries sustained – this was not culpable homicide but murder. I believe that my son was murdered, thrown onto the road and further run over several times to make it look like an accident. The incident happened way out from the direction in which he would have taken going home. The police should have prioritized this case and did what they are mandated to do – find evidence to heinous crimes and put the perpetrators behind bars,” said Govender.”
“Nobody deserves to die in the manner that my child died, nobody.
“When I read The Phoenix Tabloid and other papers as well about parents who lost their children and found closure, I feel a sense of relief for them because they know what happened to their children and who is responsible for their death, which is a different case for me. We are hoping that someone sees this story, and remembers something that will help us get our son the justice that he deserves,” added Govender. She described Bradley as a people person who had many friends and was well known in the community.
Communications officer at Phoenix SAPS, Captain Louise Naidoo said a culpable homicide case was opened at SAPS Phoenix in 2008. “The docket was sent to court in 2009 and the case was closed in 2010. The case was filed as investigations by detectives did not lead them anywhere.”