Miguel Louw's parents, Raylene and Kirk, stare at his coffin during a church service in Sydenham. Picture: Karinda Jagmohan

DURBAN - Miguel Louw, the Sydenham schoolboy who went missing in July, was laid to rest on Saturday. Nine-year-old Miguel's body lay in a closed white and gold coffin as hundreds of mourners gathered at the St Anne’s Church in Sydenham to bid farewell to the child.

A frame sat atop his coffin with a picture of the little boy., and a white balloon with the words ‘Miguel Louw’ was placed at the head of the coffin.

Miguel, who went missing on July 18, was found buried in a shallow grave in Phoenix two weeks ago. His body was in the late stages of decomposition.

According to Reverend Father Ndodana Tshuma, Miguel’s death has brought families and communities together. He added that the boy had perhaps served a greater purpose. 

Miguel Louw funeral programme. Picture: Karinda Jagmohan

Tshuma also urged parents to take a stand to protect children.

“Miguel, lying here in this state is proof that we live in a sick society,” he said.

Watch: We live in a sick society - Reverend

9-year-old Miguel was laid to rest on Saturday, during an emotional funeral at the St Anne's Catholic Church in Sydenham. In his memory, pigeons and white balloons were freed. A family spokesperson defended Miguel's mother at the funeral, while Reverend Father Ndodana Tshuma told mourners Miguel's death showed how sick society was. Video: Karinda Jagmohan

Reverend Father Ndodana Tshuma said Miguel Louw's death was proof that society was sick. Video: Karinda Jagmohan

Miguel’s mum, Raylene, buried her face in her hands, sobbing as her son’s body was prayed over.

Her words to her son on a leaflet in the funeral programme read: "Mummy loves you so much, and I miss you dearly. I have no words to describe the pain I feel my son. You are a hero, a warrior."

Miguel’s father, Kirk Louw, wrote: “Daddy will always have you in his heart. Although I cannot see you, I feel you with me, even though you’re gone too soon.”

Older sister, Mikayla, after comforting her mother, read a poem.

Miguel’s body will be cremated, the family announced as they left the church with blue and white balloons and doves flying behind them - a celebration of the child’s life.

Miguel Louw's coffin. Picture: Karinda Jagmohan
Miguel Louw's coffin. Picture: Karinda Jagmohan