Anele “Nelli” Tembe did not commit suicide, neither was she suicidal, according to her father Moses Tembe who set the record straight at her memorial service hosted at the Durban ICC on Friday, 16 April.
“As Anele’s father, I categorically state that Anele was neither suicidal nor did she commit suicide. We must as a matter of priority deal with the scourge that bedevils our youth. Alcohol which is overused and drugs. Fellow South Africans we better wake up and smell the coffee, we have a serious problem with substance abuse,” read the eulogy Moses wrote on the passing of his beloved daughter who was only 22 at the time of her death.
Speculation has been rife about how Nelli fell from the 10th floor of the luxury Pepperclub Hotel on Sunday, 11 April, after a night of partying in Cape Town. Police say the investigation is still underway.
Moses believes drugs and alcohol played a role in her death, but did not say more than this.
The eulogy from Moses to Nelli was read out by Sandile Zungu, who described Moses as a heartbroken father.
“I cannot allow an unfortunate narrative to go unchallenged, a narrative that irks me to no end, that is Anele was chronically suicidal. All I can say is, until Anele turned 21, not a single member of her family, my family would have associated her with suicide,” said Moses in the letter.
He also said he knew rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes loved his daughter but that their companionship needed more than love, it needed to be premised and embedded on a Godly foundation.
“Anele made me happy as a father, very happy. Anele was feisty, strong-willed some might say. She was single-minded in her pursuits, what others would uncritically call stubborn. Anele never minced her words, an attribute that would perturb her siblings, which she balanced by giving her absolute best to those around her,” he said.
AKA was at the memorial service. Earlier this week his publicist said he is receiving grief counselling to deal with the death of the love of his life. The couple were engaged and had already started Lobola negotiations.