Johannesburg - She sat on the floor, staring at the coffin, as a tear trickled down her cheek.
In the coffin in Naturena Primary School hall on Saturday lay Thandeka Madonsela, her older sister and friend, who once spoke to her about her dreams and aspirations of becoming a doctor.
At the funeral service, Prudence spoke of the good relationship the sisters had.
“I pictured her screaming for help while she was being killed and fighting for her life. I recall when a few young boys came to see me in the morning to tell me about Thandeka’s body, which was lying in the veld.
“I am still in disbelief, but I know she is in a better place with her mother,” the grief-stricken Prudence said.
Almost two weeks ago, Thandeka’s body was found dumped in the veld less than two kilometres from her grandmother’s Naturena, Johannesburg, house.
The Grade 8 pupil had been raped, disembowelled and murdered.
Two boys, aged 16 and 17, were arrested and released into their parents’ custody.
Ronny Madonsela, the family’s spokesperson and Thandeka’s uncle, described this as a sad time for all those who knew Thandeka.
“We cannot begin to describe the depth of sorrow we feel. Thandeka left a huge hole in all our hearts.
“She had promised her grandmother that she would complete her studies, acquire a tertiary education and become a doctor. And then she would renovate and extend the house they lived in.
“But in this case, dreams will be dreams because of her untimely death.”
Among those who came to pay tribute to Thandeka was Shirley Mashego, a member of the ANC Women’s League and a community leader at Naturena.
“In 2005 I was standing in front of you to talk about and honour the life of Thandeka’s mother. It is unfortunate that I have to be standing here again under the same circumstance, but to honour the life of her daughter, Thandeka,” she said.
She appealed to those present to embrace the philosophy of ubuntu.
“We will miss Thandeka. We’ll miss her glowing face. A happy face that nobody will replace,” she said.
One of Thandeka’s friends, Michelle Ndlovu, spoke of how special their friendship had been. “She was more than a friend, she was family. My mother was torn apart when she heard about her untimely death as she regarded her as a daughter.”