Little Bokgabo laid to rest in rain
Tears flow as heavens open for emotional burial
A distraught Irvin Ndlovu bowed his head and broke down as pictures and videos of his late daughter Bokgabo Poo, 4, played on the big screen.
The graphics showed a lively and excited Bokgabo being playful with her friends and family.
“Goodnight,” the girl could be heard saying to her dad in one of the videos, adding to Ndlovu ’ s agony as he shed more tears. Bokgabo was laid to rest in Wattvile, Benoni in Ekurhuleni, on Monday.
Mourners were undeterred by the rain as they gathered outside the Poo home where they paid their last respects to the little girl who was last seen alive in October at Masoleng Park, a few metres away from her home.
A few days later, the girls ’ dismembered body was found buried in two separate locations in Tamboville with some body parts missing.
Mourners were dressed in orange – the colour of the T-shirt Bokgabo was last wearing – and black in her honour. Others wore orange ribbons on their chests.
Chairperson of traditional leaders in Etwatwa, Gladys Muntu Segage, said no traditional healer kills another human being for the purpose of healing.
“There is no part of healing that requires human body parts. We are healers and not killers. Healers have been there for years and in our teaching we’ve never learnt that human flesh can heal anything. That is not what we do,” she said, adding that when children are killed healers are often accused.
Segage called on the government to prioritise the safety of women and children.
“Government can do better.
Women and children are perishing. There are various organisations such as ours that government can collaborate with and we can assist because we know who is or isn’t part of our communities,” she said.
“These people are tainting our name by killing innocent children for evil practices. Today we bury a child with incomplete body parts, why?”
Deputy minister in the presidency Zizi Kodwa lauded members of the community for standing together.
“There is no amount of anything that can defeat a united community. What I appreciate most is seeing the community of Wattville and the entire Gauteng showing support to the family,” Kodwa said.
“We must be united because you might see a man wearing a suit looking good, only to find that they are an animal.
“When will our children play outside and [we] confidently say they are safe?”
Activities paused at various primary schools with pupils and teachers making a guard of honour as Bokgabo’s body moved along Dube Street to the cemetery in Boksburg where she was laid to rest.
Ntokozo Zikhali, who was arrested in connection with the girl’s death, is expected to reappear in the Benoni magistrate’s court on November 14.