Murdered Ayakha Jiyane: A 'wonderful soul violently extinguished'

2019-09-06 19:08
Durban mother Xoli Mpungose described in painful detail the discovery of her four children who were hanged by her partner Sibusiso Mpungose. (Screengrab)

Durban mother Xoli Mpungose described in painful detail the discovery of her four children who were hanged by her partner Sibusiso Mpungose. (Screengrab)

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An emotional memorial service honouring murdered Pinetown Girls' High School teenager Ayahka Jiyane on Friday left mourners in tears.

The service – paying homage to the bubbly 16-year-old who was allegedly strangled to death by her stepfather on Tuesday – was held at her school, where the guests included Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, one of former president Jacob Zuma's wives.

Jiyane and her three step-siblings were allegedly hanged by their father, 44-year-old Sibubsiso Mpungose, who abandoned his attempt for bail in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Speaking about Jiyane, her form and Maths teacher Sagren Archary remembered her fondly, saying the youngster had the world ahead of her.

He said her achievements were many and varied.

"She excelled academically, coming top of the grade almost every year. Not everyone knew this - she recently attended the week-long Masakhane Leadership Course and, out of 260 young men and women, she was voted not just the best female leader, but the best overall leader of that week."

'A generous smile to match a generous spirit'

Archary said she had never bragged about her many accomplishments.

"Yet again, not everyone knows this. Such was her humility and modesty. She was clearly a pupil with both feet on the ground."

He said that it was not just her fellow pupils, but also teachers, who sang her praises.

"Her teachers told me about her impeccable manners and warm smile. Not that I needed much reminding - a generous smile to match a generous spirit."

Jiyane had also been charitable and led a drive to collect pens for those less fortunate.

READ: Sibusiso Mpungose, father who allegedly hanged his children in Durban, elects to stay behind bars

"She was recently involved in the pen drive, an initiative to collect writing instruments for schools in poorer communities. She took ownership of that project and made it her own," Archary said.

The emotional teacher said there was little that could explain her untimely death.

"An intelligent, caring and wonderful soul was violently extinguished from this world so abruptly. Surely the answers, however well crafted they may be, can never justify such a heinous act.

"It is time for us to speak up or out. There is a darkness that pervades some of our homes. And if we remain silent, then that darkness will flourish."

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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