The emotional funeral service for 9-year-old Sardia Sukhraj is underway in Chatsworth, south of Durban. Sadia was shot in the stomach when her father was hijacked in Shallcross on Monday morning. Picture Leon Lestrade / African News Agency / ANA
Durban - A tearful East Coast Radio presenter sent a heartfelt message to the parents of 9-year-old Sadia Sukhraj. 

Sadia's  parents, Pastor Shalendra and Lorraine Sukhraj, bade farewell to the “apple of their eye” at the Shallcross Cemetery in Durban on a wet Tuesday afternoon. 

Hundreds of mourners were there to show their support, in the streets, at the church, at home and at the cemetery. 

The Sunday Tribune's sister paper, The Mercury, reported on Tuesday that the Sukhrajs had waited eight years before they had another baby, Sadia. She was killed at the age of nine in a botched hijacking and a relative, Davika Sukhraj, described how precious the little girl was to the family. 

“She was a very spiritual child, her name actually means Chosen of God. She wanted to get into the ministry like her dad,” said Davika.



Doves were released at the funeral of Sadia Sukhraj as mourners sang "Because He Lives". Video: Karinda Jagmohan
The teary breakfast host of the ECR Breakfast Show, Darren Maule, sent this heartfelt message to the parents on Tuesday morning.

"She was 9, her name was Sadia Sukhraj. I have a 9-year-old daughter in my house, and this morning it was different. Yes I woke up this morning and she was with me and I got up and I got her ready for school and I packed her bag and got her ready for school, and I kissed her on the forehead.

"I got to kiss her on the forehead like I do everyday and I told her I love her, I've had this privilege for 9 years and I will have it for the rest of my life. So to Mr and Mrs Sukhraj, I couldn't possibly know what happened for you this morning when you woke up. I couldn't even begin to imagine the hurt, the pain and the sense of loss, that you as a family must be feeling right now.



"If there's any sense of consolation, please know that I, and the whole of KZN are with you right now. We love you and we support you. I have a short message for you. Those we love remain with us for love itself lives on and cherished memories never fade because a loved one is gone," said Maule.


He also apologised to the Sukhraj family and told them, "you're going to be okay, and I am so sorry for your loss".
Sadia Sukhraj, 9, was killed in a botched hijacking.
Sadia Sukhraj, 9, was killed in a botched hijacking.
SUNDAY TRIBUNE