Diepsloot mourns

2013-10-20 14:00

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Agang SA, ANC play politics after the tragic rape and murder of two cousins

The ANC and Agang SA nearly spoiled the funeral of two Diepsloot girls, Yonelisa Mali (2) and her cousin Zandile Mali (3), who were raped and killed this week.

The ANC went for Agang’s throat, publicly rebuking Dr Mamphela Ramphele’s party at the girls’ funeral for “gloating” about the money it donated to help the Mali family bury the little girls.

Addressing the approximately 2 000 people who attended the funeral in Diepsloot, ANC councillor for the area Rogers Makhubele said “this is not a political funeral”.

He added: “It’s fine that Agang has organised whatever they have but they should not turn this into a political football to confuse the people.”

But Agang’s Vanessa Hani refuted his allegations, telling City Press: “We are not here to politic. We can’t be debating at a funeral. Let him say what he pleases. As citizens we felt the need to contribute. Nobody approached us, we were just helping.”

Hani said Agang SA paid for the entire funeral, but refused to divulge how much the party had donated.

Makhubele later told City Press that the ANC had done a lot for the Mali family but didn’t want to talk about it.

“We brought Coca-Cola in and we also donated money.

We have done a lot but we don’t want to talk about it.

“(Agang) thought the funeral will afford them the opportunity to confuse our people. We can’t go out and grandstand to poor people,” Makhubele said.

The political sideshow did not detract from people’s horror and rage at the girls’ brutal deaths. Their bodies were found dumped in a communal toilet in Diepsloot on Tuesday morning after they went missing last Saturday.

Five men have been arrested in connection with the crime, and the angry community on Friday handed over a memorandum to police calling for swift action and life sentences for those who rape or kill children.

Joburg Mayor Parks Tau, who represented Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and spoke at the funeral, said the way the two girls died was heartbreaking.

“The community is hurting, we are in this together. You are in our prayers and God is with you. Sometimes death visits us in the most painful of ways and this is one such case,” he said.

A pastor, who did not give her name and spoke on behalf of Diepsloot’s churches, said the town should stop being in the news for all the wrong reasons.

“We are tired of bad publicity. Every time we are in the news you can be sure that it is bad news. Diepsloot is sick and we need divine intervention. We have to join hands together and be aggressive against crime.”

In August, she said, she had attended a funeral of an ­ eight-month pregnant 19-year-old who was raped and brutally murdered.

“Last month another five-year-old was raped and killed right here. This has to stop. We want all the men to stand up and say, ‘No woman or child will be killed and raped in my name.’

“We lock our doors as soon as the sun sets and we constantly check if they are locked,” she said.

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