4-year-old girl laid to rest

Keabetswe Tshabalala was raped and hanged in an abandoned building near her Katlehong home.

Baby Keabetswe funeral at Thomas Titus Nkobi cemetery in Germiston. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of people gathered in Germiston on Gauteng's East Rand for Keabetswe Tshabalala's funeral on Friday.

The four-year-old girl was raped and hanged in an abandoned building near her Katlehong home earlier this week.

Family, friends and community members arrived in a convoy to bid her farewell at the Thomas Titus Nkobi Memorial Park.

As her coffin was lowered into the grave, her mother burst into tears with the choir singing in the background.

Her small grave was covered with flowers and some of her favourite toys.

A pastor shared some comforting words before a tombstone donated by a local funeral parlour was unveiled.

It reads, "We are speechless oh God, because you have taken the fairest flower of your heavenly garden."

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality's Patricia Khumalo said they arranged the burial.

"The family is indigent as nobody works. The tragic way in which the little girl died evoked a lot of emotions within the community."

A family friend has been arrested in connection with the murder.

The 37-year-old man led community members to the building where her body was found hanging with her pants, underwear and shoes off.

He has been charged with murder and rape and is expected to appear in court soon.

Meanwhile, police are still searching for the person responsible for five-year-old Anelisa Mkhondo's murder.

The Diepsloot girl was found dead on the same day as Tshabalala.

Mkhondo's body was found next to a dumpster in the northern Johannesburg township.

Police believe she may have been raped by her killer.