Picture: ANA
Johannesburg – Men need to stand up in society and protect women, a mourner said on Wednesday, at the memorial service of Karabo Mokoena whose charred remains were found in a shallow grave in Lyndhurst after she had been missing for almost two weeks.

"Men are quiet. God, where are the fathers? Where are the fathers who will stand in a society of South Africa and say no more?" Adele Tjale said during a memorial service in held in Diepkloof to celebrate the life of Mokoena.

Tjale who was Mokoena's spiritual mother appeared livid and blasted men for their silence on the violence suffered by women.

"Bo Mama, the fathers have failed to lead, the fathers of this nation have not protected our girl child, it's up to us," she said. Tjale told the packed hall that there was a time when the deceased came to her after she had been beaten by her boyfriend.

"This child looked at me and she said, Mom, I don't care who did what, but this is the temple of a living God," she recalled.

"You fathers must be disciplined, whipped with sjamboks for allowing young men to kill our girls and we all sit and say no it was their day, yes it was their day but then there's another, another and another. Its enough, even heaven is mourning."

Women from the audience were heard shouting "Yes" and some screamed "amen", while others continued clapping.

Mokoena's boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe, 27, who is a Forex trader, faces charges of premeditated murder and defeating ends of justice. On the night before her murder, Mokoena and Mantsoe reportedly had a heated argument in a Sandton nightclub.

According to reports, the couple left the club together and she was never seen alive again.

The 22-year-old was found in an open veld after she had been missing for almost two weeks. She had been burnt beyond recognition.

Close family friend and actor, Patrick Shai, said the carnage and pain being inflicted on women made it difficult to stand tall as men.

“It would not be proper to stand here and talk nicely about things that are not nice,” he said.

“How many Karabo’s must there be before we take a stand?”

Shai called on men to return to biblical values and take a stand against the continued carnage.

Neo Mohlabane who used to attend a weekly prayer meeting with Mokoena spoke about how the she had tried to breakaway from the abusive relationship.

“She got in touch and asked to meet up and that Friday, I picked her up and we went to a restaurant in Sandton,” she said.

“Of course I had known prior what had happened to her and [when we arrived], we sat in the car examining her and checking out the few bruises and scratches which remained.”

"She said to me, Neo I'm a testimony that there's a God, he tried to finish me, look at me now and I'm still standing. I was like that's my baby," explained Mohlabane.

"One thing about Karabo, she was very strong and very bold but also had that vulnerable side that she wouldn't just show it to anyone. I remember we sat there and she said to me, you know what Neo, everything may look perfect on the outside but inside I'm wounded, that man hurt me."

Mohlabane said if Mokoena was alive, she would have forgiven her killer.

"You know what Karabo would gave said if she was here, she would be standing here in front of you and would say, forgive Sandile, pray for Sandile. Because one thing I know about God, he can still use people like him, there's hope for him. Karabo has run her race, she settled the course that she had to follow."

Speaker after speaker spoke of her spirituality and faith, even quoting her favourite words: “It is well”.

Mokoena's memorial service was attended by celebrities, the ANC Women's League and Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

She will be laid to rest on Friday at West Park cemetery.

African News Agency and IOL