Cape Town - The community of Manenberg is blaming themselves for the murder of Chanelle McCrawl.
The 10-year-old girl was laid to rest on Tuesday, two weeks after her body was discovered at the Vygieskraal River.
She had been raped and bludgeoned to death, allegedly by her own uncle, Carlo de Kock.
Hundreds of people attended the funeral of the Grade 4 learner at Edendale Primary School who was buried at Maitland Cemetery.
Chanelle’s funeral was held at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Manenberg Avenue.
During her eulogy, granny Eileen McCrawl pleaded with parents to “always know where your children are”.
Glancing at her granddaughter’s small white coffin, which was covered with a white cloth, she said: “We have an angel looking after us now.”
Chanelle’s murder sparked marches, vigils and even an attack on one of the alleged perpetrators.
On Monday night, learners and parents of Edendale primary gathered at the Reconciliation Anglican Church to celebrate Chanelle’s life with songs, dances and anecdotes of the little girl.
The memorial was arranged by the school’s governing body chairperson, Roegshanda Pascoe.
Addressing the congregation, Mitchells Plain CPF cluster chairperson Lucinda Evans, who is from Lavender Hill, explained what her community went through when they faced a similar case earlier this year, when 13-year-old Rene-Tracy Roman disappeared.
On 10 March, the girl’s half-naked body was found wrapped in a mat in a Wendy house near her home. Neighbour Andrew Plaatjies was arrested on a charge of murder.
Evans said: “Ons was stukkend. Toe besluit ons om ’* pink drive te doen. Ons het seker gemaak dat hy nie bail gekry het nie. (We were broken. Then we decided to do the pink drive. We made sure that he did not get bail.)”
She says Chanelle is the 68th child to be killed in the Western Cape this year and called on parents to play an active role in keeping their children safe.
Resident Tanya Daniels said Chanelle’s blood was on everyone’s hands.
“It’s not only the government that failed Chanelle, we also did. Maybe if we took note of the signs, we could have spoken up. The perpetrators are right under our noses, but we don’t see them,” she said.
“If you saw something but kept quiet, then I want to tell you there is blood on your hands.”
There were loud cheers when Chanelle’s teacher Eloise Christians took the mic.
She knew Chanelle since she was three years old and launched a scathing attack on the girl’s family for not noticing immediately she was missing.
“Her suffering is over. When you ask where were the parents, then you hear they were dik getik. Nobody took notice of Chanelle until she was found dead,” said Eloise.
Meanwhile, De Kock and his co-accused Stanton Mano are expected to return to Wynberg Magistrates’ Court on 22 November for a bail application.
It’s believed Mano helped De Kock dump the child’s body.