Murdered girl had big dreams

Fond mem­o­ries Best friend cries as school friends and mourn­ers re­mem­ber Nonhlanhla Gumbi

The Times (South Africa) - - News - By BON­GANI MTHETHWA

● A close friend of a Dur­ban school­girl found dead af­ter she went miss­ing last week broke down at her class­mate’s me­mo­rial ser­vice yes­ter­day.

Zine Mafanya could not con­tain her­self as she re­counted how Nonhlanhla Gumbi‚ 17‚ a Grade 12 pupil at Ziphathele High School, in Cler­mont‚ had dreamt about “be­com­ing some­thing” af­ter her stud­ies.

Nonhlanhla’s naked body was found in un­der­growth, with bruises to her thighs and stom­ach, last week.

It is be­lieved she had been raped‚ beaten and stran­gled to death.

She at­tended af­ter­noon and week­end classes with her school­mates and was last seen on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Her body was found two days later. “She dreamt that one day we would be­come some­thing. She liked school and wanted to study and be­come some­thing in fu­ture. She was my an­gel and she was like my sis­ter. We were re­garded as twins.

“I love you and I’ll al­ways love you‚” Mafanya said, as she sobbed be­fore hun­dreds of mourn­ers at the Cler­mont Hall.

Her class teacher‚ Zen­zele Nt­shal­intshali‚ de­scribed her as an energetic and hard­work­ing young girl who was al­ways laugh­ing.

“She has left a void in the school. She was among those pupils we were count­ing on to in­crease the pass mark be­cause she was hard­work­ing. One thing I know about her is that she was al­ways laugh­ing.

“Even the last time I saw her, on Satur­day‚ I re­minded her about les­sons the next day and she just laughed. ZEN­ZELE NT­SHAL­INTSHALI Teacher “I will never for­get her,” he said. School gov­ern­ing body chair­man Sanele Shange ap­pealed to the po­lice to dou­ble their ef­forts to bring the per­pe­tra­tors to book.

He urged the KwaZulu-Na­tal depart­ment of ed­u­ca­tion to pro­vide the school with body­guards to en­sure a safe en­vi­ron­ment for pupils.

“We can’t have a sit­u­a­tion when we have the po­lice, but some­thing like this hap­pens. We ap­peal to the po­lice to work hard to ar­rest the peo­ple who did this im­me­di­ately.

“Our schools are not safe and we’re ap­peal­ing to the depart­ment to help us with body­guards.”

“One thing I know about her is that she was al­ways laugh­ing. I will never for­get her”

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