WATCH: Tears as 4-year-old Everlate Chauke laid to rest

2016-12-07 12:47

Body arrives at funeral of 3-year-old Everlate Chauke

2016-12-07 10:47

Everlate Chauke slipped from her father's hands during the heavy rains in Johannesburg in November. Watch as community members gathered in support of the Chauke family as their daughter was laid rest on Wednesday.WATCH

Johannesburg - Family, friends, and residents of the Setshwetla informal settlement in Alexandra bade farewell to four-year-old Everlate Chauke, who drowned in the Jukskei River during flooding last month. 

She was buried in the Waterfall cemetery, Midrand, on Wednesday morning. 

Her funeral service was held in Alexandra. Her parents, Shadrick and Cynthia Chauke sat by the coffin. 

A band played melancholy melodies while family members and neighbours spoke highly of the girl and the support they received since she went missing. 

Speaking at the funeral, Roslyn Toontas of NGO the Gift of the Givers, commended her parents for their strength while dealing with all the media attention during the two-week search for the girl. 

She said Everlate's parents supported each other and never gave up hope of finding her. The family should treasure their memories of her and not give in to despair, even when life appeared hopeless, she said. 

Speaking in Xitsonga, Sarah Sithole, also of the NGO, said Everlate's family had expected her to live a full life. 

Relatives and members of the Gift of the Givers comforted Cynthia and her husband while tears ran down their faces at the grave.

Last Friday, police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela said that a comparative DNA test had confirmed that the body found was Everlate’s. Police had obtained DNA samples from Chauke’s parents and expedited the testing.  

Everlate, her father Shadreck, and his wife were in their makeshift home in Alexandra, next to the Jukskei River, when it started raining heavily on November 9.

When water began filling their dwelling, they climbed a tree. Her mother was on one branch, while Everlate and her father were on another. The branch broke and Everlate fell into the water. Shadrick jumped in after her, but was forced to swim back to safety without her.

She was found in the Jukskei River in Buccleuch, Sandton, about 10km downstream, on November 22.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  floods  |  drownings

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