Image of murdered Soweto teen's mutilated body haunts family
Johannesburg - The grandmother of a 14-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in Soweto wants her killers to get life with no visitation rights.
Simphiwe Sibeko’s visibly heartbroken grandmother, Joyce Sibeko, met Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Monday, who had gone to offer his condolences to the Dobsonville, Soweto, family.
Simphiwe, a Grade 9 learner at Aurora Girls’ High, was found dead last Friday.
The grandmother said: “Simphiwe was a good child and it’s painful to lose her at this tender age of 14. I really hope that once we get justice, the people who did this to her get life sentences with no visitors allowed, because we won’t get to see our loved one again.”
The image of Simphiwe’s body still haunts her equally distraught aunt after she went to identify Simphiwe at the morgue.
The aunt, Bongekile Phakathi, said: “I really can’t tell you how she looked. We were not able to identify her face, we did not know where the mouth is or the nose, she was disfigured and her arms were wrapped up. It was very painful for me to see my niece like that.”
The meeting between Lesufi and the family was private, with journalists not allowed into the house. However, when Lesufi stepped out with Simphiwe’s grandmother, he described the meeting as painful.
“It is a difficult and emotional time for the family and our role is to offer support. We’ll use our might as the state to dig deeper in this matter and offer the family answers,” said Lesufi
The grandmother lauded Lesufi for coming to offer his condolences.
“We are humbled to see people in higher positions bringing themselves down to show love and support. We appreciate people like the MEC who are with us in this period,” she added.
The department will provide burial support to the family before the funeral on Thursday.
“We are here today to offer support to the family in this difficult time. We need to mobilise everyone to make sure that the family is comfortable.
“We will provide burial support together with our social partners, and because we are still on lockdown, we have agreed with the family that we will have a memorial service immediately after lockdown as a farewell to Simphiwe and give her peers a chance to bid her farewell,” said Lesufi