Family say farewell to murdered toddler

By Chulumanco Mahamba Time of article published Jun 26, 2020

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It was a sombre and cold morning in Orange Farm yesterday as family and friends of 3-year-old Ansia Kheha, whose lifeless body was found in the veld last week, was laid to rest. 

The little girl, who was discovered with a slit throat and multiple stab wounds inside a basket about 6km away from her home in Orange Farm last week, became one of the youngest victims of gender-based violence. 

Ansia, who allegedly entered South Africa from Mozambique illegally about three weeks ago with her mother, was buried in a small white coffin at Olifantsvlei Cemetery while the family sobbed. The funeral was held in Orange Farm because the family was prohibited from returning to Mozambique as the investigation into Ansia’s death is still ongoing. 

Orange Farm community leader and family friend Teboho Molefe, who helped Ansia’s mother Johanna Nyanjani search for the child when she disappeared, called the toddler an angel during the funeral at the Orange Farm Multipurpose Centre. 

An emotional Molefe said when she heard that Ansia was killed, she felt like she had lost her own child. “It’s enough now, we have lost angels. More especially in Orange Farm. I don’t know what’s happening, but we are losing angels,” she said. 

TV and radio personalities Bujy Bikwa and Ntando Duma were among the notable figures who attended the funeral to represent young people who come from Orange Farm. 

Bikwa said the news about Ansia’s death made him feel ashamed as a man and as someone who originated from the area. 

“We’re not saying this is getting out of hand. This is out of hand already. This is disgusting, and we have failed as a community, as a nation, and as men,” an angry Bikwa said. 

Orange Farm police spokesperson Constable Shaan Motsapi called on the community to work with the police to bring criminals to book as after the police reported to the scene where Ansia was found, there was another scene where a 35-year-old woman was also killed. 

“While we were trying to digest the two, we were summoned to another scene where a 10-year-old was murdered. Orange Farm is under siege and under attack from criminals,” he said. 

The funeral was organised by the Solly Mkhabela Foundation and the City of Joburg. Mkhabela said South African men were cowards, murderers, and rapists who looked like gentlemen during the day to conceal that they were monsters. 

He said government needed to attend to gender-based violence as attentively as they did to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“This must come to an end, we must act now. We can’t wait for forever, and we can’t wait for other women to be killed,” he said. 

City of Joburg MMC for Community Development Margaret Arnolds called on community members to support Ansia’s family in their fight for justice. 

“Johanna came to South Africa to search for a better life for her children, and what do we give her? We give her anger. We give her pity,” the MMC said. 

Arnolds added that if she was in the same position as Nyanjani, she would kill the culprit with her bare hands. The MMC called on the people of Orange Farm, the government and the police to deal with gender-based violence decisively.


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