'Police will arrest Ngum's killers'
The premier said she could empathise with the family as her own niece was kidnapped and murdered.
JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane on Saturday said authorities will arrest Philasande Ngum's killers.
The 19-year-old second year psychology student was kidnapped from a Midrand mall earlier in May.
Ngum's decomposed body was found in a veld in Pretoria earlier this week.
Speaking at Ngum's funeral service at Progress Ministries in Kagiso on Saturday, Mokonyane assured the congregation that those responsible for the murder will be captured by police.
"I do believe that we will get them."
The Premier said she could empathise with the family as her own niece was kidnapped and murdered by serial killer Moses Sithole in the 1990s.
"I'm speaking from experience, I've been directly affected. My sister lost her daughter who went missing for three months and four days. We had to actually reopen the grave because she was buried as a pauper."
Neighbours, family and friends also attended Saturday morning's service at the West Rand church.
Community members described Ngum as a God-fearing, loving girl.
The teen's neighbour told Eyewitness News that Ngum was now closer to God.
"We'd do a lot of things together. We used to write songs, play together, sing and do a lot of things together. It has really affected me badly because she was like a sister to me."
Community members called on officials to arrest those responsible for the crime.
Ngum's mother also paid a R1,500 ransom to the kidnapers.
Nobody has been arrested in connection with the crime.