Reiger Park bids Taegrin farewell

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Copy of ST sec MorrisFuneral059.JPG THE STAR Elwin and Chantel Morris place toys on top of their son Taegrins coffin. Gauteng Premier David Makhura was among the mourners and spoke at the funeral service. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - Holding their helmets in the air and heads bowed, motorbikers formed a guard of honour for 4-year-old Taegrin Morris as pallbearers carried him to his final resting place.

Among the pallbearers were his parents, Chantel and Elwin, who bravely carried the coffin containing the body of the beloved son.

While there were many people who could have carried the coffin from the hearse to the grave, the couple chose to help carry their son to his final resting place and bid him farewell.

Their daughter Erin, 8, walked in front of the coffin, holding a picture of her smiling baby brother.

While her hand struggled under the weight of the coffin, Chantel’s face was a picture of determination as she slowly walked to the open grave and put the coffin on it.

She and Elwin placed a bouquet of flowers on top of the coffin as well as two toy cars that were still in their boxes.

Copy of ST main MorrisFuneral121 Friends pay their last respects to Taegrin Morris during his funeral at the Van Dyk Park cemetery in Boksburg. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu THE STAR

Next to them, Erin’s playful demeanour was testimony to the fact that her young mind was oblivious to the fact that she will never see her brother again.

Even when she and other children released blue balloons with “RIP Taegrin” written on them, she giggled as she watched them disappear into the sky, her young mind still unable to comprehending the severity of what was happening.

Erin was in the car with Chantel in Reiger Park, Boksburg, on the Saturday the previous weekend when they were hijacked.

Chantel had just turned around to strap in Taegrin and when she turned back to the steering wheel, a gun was pressed against her face.

She screamed for Erin to jump out of the car and tried to get Taegrin out of the seat. She felt the car move and pleaded with the hijackers to let her release him as his foot was still stuck in the seatbelt.

But they ignored her pleas and sped off, dragging Taegrin with the car for about 4km before dumping his body and the car next to an abandoned building in Boksburg.

Speaking at the funeral at Reiger Park stadium, Gauteng Premier David Makhura described Taegrin’s killers as “heartless”. Makhura said the heartless killers simply ignored Taegrin cries for help and cries for his mother.

“We are hurt by the pain he endured in his passing and the manner in which his heartless killers took his life.”

Makhura said the community had given Taegrin a new name - Prince of Peace - and said his death should not be in vain, but rather bring much-needed change in Reiger Park.

“The Prince of Peace, in his own way, is saying to us in his name enough is enough, genoeg is genoeg,” said Makhura.

“All of us united in grief should say… his death must bring hope to this community of Reiger Park. This is a ravaged community and I’d like to say, on behalf of the provincial government, that we join you to say enough is enough.

“We have to find all the criminals and drive them out of the communities.”

Among the mourners was Lizzy Phike, the Bronkhorstspruit woman whose husband was hijacked, assaulted and left for dead by his attackers, who sped off with their child Mongezi two weeks ago.

Mongezi was missing for days and finally reunited with his family last week. His father Martin is recovering at home.

Looking at Chantel pained Phike. “Unfortunately, she was not lucky like me to get her son back and all I can say is I am sorry. It is painful to lose a child,” she said.

Since Taegrin’s death, the community has been baying for blood. However, Jerry Joubert, of the New Apostolic Church, cautioned against residents taking the law into their own hands, saying it was not worth it, because doing so would reduce them to the same level as Taegrin’s killers.

“What happened does not make sense and it should not make sense. It is not for us to pursue the agenda of revenge.

“Let us give support to those whose function is to find justice. Let us not become perpetrators in trying to get justice, because we will be exactly the same as the ones who perpetrated the deed.”

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