Residents out in their numbers for final salute to murdered Nateniël Julies

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People lined the streets of Eldorado Park ahead of Nathaniel Julies' funeral on Saturday.
People lined the streets of Eldorado Park ahead of Nathaniel Julies' funeral on Saturday.
Ntwaagae Seleka
  • Mourners formed a guard of honour as Nateniël Julies' body passed through the crowd to Mount Carmel Ministries in Eldorado Park.
  • A short commotion broke out as pallbearers struggled to enter the church gates owing to the large number of people gathered.
  • Residents claimed they were promised that the service would be broadcast on screens outside.  

Mourners on Saturday lined the streets of Eldorado Park in Johannesburg, saluting the hearse carrying the body of murdered Nateniël Julies.

Holding placards bearing his image, mourners formed a guard of honour as his body passed through the crowd to Mount Carmel Ministries in Eldorado Park, where the funeral was held.

But not all of the slain teen's family members were allowed into the venue to pay their final respects as their names were not included on the list of attendees required for funerals held during the nationwide lockdown, they claimed.

Julies' uncles, Cyril Brown and Justin Sengoatsi, said it was "shocking" that they could not attend.

"How can there be a funeral when some of the family members are locked outside? We don't have an opportunity to give our last respects to my nephew. SAPS members feel that they are in charge and in control."

Sengoatsi said it was sad that they were not allowed to enter the church.

"The way the police are treating us outside the gate, they don't respect us as the family. Other than that, we are not going to allow what happened at the gate to [get in the way of proceedings] because we want to bury our child with dignity," Sengoatsi said.

Bikers revved their engines as they drove in two lines alongside the vehicle carrying Julies' remains to the service.

Many cried as they lifted photos of the teenager, while children ran behind the hearse shouting "We want justice".

The dignitaries included South African Federation of Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and ACDP leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe.

At the funeral venue, some family members and journalists from various media organisations were barred from entering the venue by the police.

Lockdown regulations allow only 50 people to attend a funeral.

A short commotion broke out as pallbearers struggled to enter the church gates owing to the number of people gathered, hopeful to be able to follow proceedings.

Residents claimed they were promised that the service would be broadcast on screens outside.  

Julies, who had Down Syndrome, was shot dead near his home in Eldorado Park on 26 August.

Three police officers have been charged in connection with the boy's death.

Simon "Scorpion" Ndyalvane, 46, and Caylene Whiteboy, 26, were facing charges of murder, defeating the ends of justice, discharging a firearm in a public space and the possession of prohibited ammunition.

Detective Sergeant Foster Netshiongolo, 37, was facing charges of murder as an accessory after the fact, the unlawful possession of ammunition and defeating the ends of justice.

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