7-year-old’s funeral held on her birthday

7-year-old Nthabiseng “Mingy” Makhoba’s was held this morning at Kagisanong Hall, Mangaung. Photos: Pierce van Heerden

While most children were looking forward to the beginning of the school holidays today the classmates of 7-year-old Nthabiseng “Mingy” Makhoba were bidding her farewell. The funeral of Makhoba, the girl whose decomposing body was discovered in a field near Phase 6, was held this morning at Kagisanong Hall, Mangaung.

The funeral takes place on the day she would have celebrated her 8th birthday and was attended by community members, education organisations and officials. Some boys and girls in their green and gold uniform had to be escorted out as they cried adding to the sombre mood in the hall.

Makhoba had been reported missing after she failed to come back home on Monday 4 March 2019. Her body was found by passers-by on Wednesday afternoon in an abandoned concrete enclosure just outside the informal settlement of Dinaweng.

Her father Kabelo Lekoala, who was one of the first people on the scene expressed how his daughter loved going to school and playing with her friends just like any other little girl. “She was an obedient child who loved to play with her friends. She never wanted to be late and would hate it whenever she had to miss a day of school,” said Lekoala holding back tears.

On the day of her body’s discovery he fell to the floor weeping amongst residents who were alerted of the gruesome scene. “Her funeral went well although my heart is broken. We received a lot of help and for that I am grateful,” he added.

“We as the Women’s League say enough is enough. We appeal to the police to arrest the perpetrator because in the same area the same thing happened three years ago. That perpetrator has not yet been arrested and now, it has happened to another child who has been raped and killed,” said Regional Chairperson of the ANC Women’s League Mapaseka Mothibi-Nkoane.

“We say to the police, if they do not do what is expected of them to assist and protect our community we will have to do something as women in Mangaung,” she pronounced.

Police have not yet confirmed whether Makhoba was raped however her small body had been found without underwear while a school shoe was removed from her right foot. The concrete floor near her was stained with blood. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele