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#OurLostChildren: Remembering Sadia Sukhraj - killed in botched hijacking

15 June, 12:41 PM

Kaveel Singh

Moments of quiet reflection, smiling faces and tears dominated those who spoke out about the life and personality of a slain 9-year-old KwaZulu-Natal girl.

Family and teachers close to Sadia Sukhraj spoke fondly of the "bubbly and kind-hearted" little girl.

News24 canvassed both close relatives and teachers at her school, who revealed a youngster ahead of her years, full of endearing qualities.

"She could have become anything she wanted. A doctor, lawyer - anything," Devika Sukhraj, Sadia's grand-aunt said.

Sadia spent much of her daily life with her aunt Devika, who tutored her in English and Maths. 

"She had a sparkling personality. She loved people. She loved to interact and enjoyed social gatherings. She loved her family time a lot."

Sadia’s Grade 4 teacher, Nuvrishka Foolchand, also spoke highly of the little girl, saying she was an exceptional pupil.

"She was very kind and gentle with everyone in her class. She was innocent and good to all her colleagues."

Foolchand said Sadia's most endearing quality was her innate goodness.

"She was always trying to ensure no one was unhappy. She was a very mature pupil who brought life to my class."

Also a big figure in her life, great-uncle Pastor Cyril Pillay, reflected on his last visit with Sadia.

"The evening before it happened, she sat on my lap and we spoke. She was as tall as a teenager. She had sprung up. She had a bright future. She could have become a prominent church pastor. She was in the church worship team. She was a live wire."

Pillay said her strong Christian background had also shaped her.

"She was taught wonderful things because of her church life. She was very knowledgeable and could co-exist with anyone."

Pillay said, while family were saddened, crime was a holistic issue.

"We have to start becoming a community. We need the spirit of Ubuntu. Local government has to come to the party."

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