Last tears at Mbili burial

2010-11-22 00:00

THOUSANDS of local residents turned up at the FET College campus in Gamalakhe yesterday to pay their respects to the three Mbili girls who drowned in the lagoon at St Michael’s on Sea last weekend.

The funeral service began at 10 am in the college hall, which was filled to capacity.

Hundreds of people watched the proceedings from outside, some peering through the windows.

Among the mourners were KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize and the provincial MEC for Social Development, Meshack Radebe, both of whom had visited the Mbili family in Gamalakhe last week to pay their respects.

Winnie Mbili, the mother of two of the three girls, cried and laughed as family members and friends shared stories about their time with the girls.

A school friend of Zamambili (7) shared some of the memories she had of the two of them together.

“Zamambili was not just a friend to me but a little sister,” said the shaken friend.

“Rest in peace, Zamambili. You will always have a special place in my heart, my pretty little sister.”

Winnie Mbili’s sister, Gugu Mavundla, also addressed the mourners.

“I will miss you all, my angels; I don’t know who will encourage me to go to church now,” she said.

“I know that you won’t come back, but you will be waiting for me in heaven when I get there.”

Mavundla then sang Shania Twain’s How Do I Live? which provided a moment of charged emotion that overwhelmed a sobbing Winnie Mbili.

Phakamani, the surviving child of Winnie and Mthokozisi Mbili, was also fighting back tears as he sat beside his father.

Mthokozisi Mbili is the regional organiser of the ANC on the lower South Coast.

After the funeral, Winnie Mbili told The Witness that the family was extremely grateful that so many people had attended the funeral.

“We are very pleased that so many people cared this much and we thank them for coming,” she said.

“It shows that they care about us and our daughters.”

Mbili had some fond memories of the three girls.

“They were so special; there was something very different about them,” she said.

“Their lives went by too fast.”

She said she is coping with the horrific situation as well as can be expected.

“I am okay at the moment, I have accepted what happened,” she said.

“But it still doesn’t seem real.”

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