Johannesburg - Two Soweto schoolgirls killed in a suspected satanic ritual were laid to rest at the Roodepoort cemetery on Tuesday.
Tears flowed and grieving family members collapsed as the coffins of Thandeka Moganetsi, 15, and Chwayita Rathazayo, 16, were carried into the stadium at 8am by schoolmates dressed in yellow shirts and grey trousers.
Thandeka and Chwayita’s bodies were found in a field in Dobsonville last week.
They were dressed in George Khosa Secondary School uniforms and had cuts on their hands and necks. Three black candles and two new razor blades were found at the scene.
One of those paying tribute at the joint funeral service was Nthabiseng Mahlangu, who told mourners she had known “Cwaita” since primary school.
“Cwaita was always smiling. She refused to fight but whenever she was annoyed by others she would show you who she was.”
Looking at her friend’s picture etched on her coffin, she said: “I will always miss you Cwaita. May your soul rest in peace. I will miss the days we shared.”
Pastors and priests from various churches took to the podium, praying in tongues and calling on God to help in the fight against satanic spirits attacking kids.
As the pastors prayed inside the stadium, ANC Youth League members chanted struggle songs outside the main gate.
A family member collapsed and fainted during the service, joining several other pupils who had to be attended to by paramedics.
Some speakers lambasted the government for scrapping prayers and religious education in schools, saying the girls’ lives could have been spared.
Magdeline Shole, Thandeka’s neighbour, told mourners she was not pleased with the government.
“There is no God in schools. Had these Bible classes been implemented in schools, the kids who did this could have seen God’s creation in the two girls and would have walked away from the devil’s act,” she said.
Reuben Williams, Thandeka’s grandfather, said: “As a parent, my concern is that our schools should go back to the days of assembling kids in the morning… conducting prayers.”
School teacher Roseline Motsepe described the girls as friendly and loving. “They did everything together. When they were late, they’d both be late.
“They were just kids like any other kids at school,” she said.
She said the girls’ murder had come as a shock to her.