Emotional day in Diepsloot

Community members called on courts to show no mercy to five Diepsloot rape and murder suspects.

Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane visited the home of the children who were murdered in Diepsloot. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - It has been an emotional day in Diepsloot with tempers flaring and community members calling for the courts to show no mercy to five suspects arrested for the rape and murder of two cousins.

Zandile and Yonalisa Mali, aged two and three, were found dead in a communal toilet cubicle in the northern Johannesburg township on Tuesday.

The girls will be buried at the Diepsloot Cemetery at 10am on Saturday morning.

Visiting the township for a third time this week, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane asked residents to give the mothers of the murdered young girls time and space to mourn their loss.

She told the families to use tomorrow's funeral to pray and ask for "divine intervention".

Mokonyane also accused other political parties of using the murders to score political points.

Earlier on Friday, ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters clashed over who should provide help to the Mali family.

Police managed to restore calm to the area.

Scores of residents formed a human shield blocking the main entrance to Diepsloot, where members of ANC Youth League (ANCYL) were holding a memorial service for the girls.

Community members gathered at the police station, singing, chanting and holding placards reading, "Stop killing and raping our children."

Hundreds of residents and ANCYL members handed over a memorandum of demands.

Community members say they've had enough of child murders in the area and are calling for better policing.

Meanwhile, controversial preacher and TV star Pastor Paseka Mboro Motsoeneng called on the community to support and comfort the bereaved families.

Four of the suspects will return to court on Thursday.

The main suspect, who was arrested overnight, will be charged with rape and murder on Monday when he appears in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

The Diepsloot double murder was the first in a series of child killings which sparked national debate.

On Wednesday, the bodies of two young girls were found in a field in Zonkezizwe outside Katlehong on Gauteng's East Rand.

The next day, a one-year-old girl and her mother were hacked to death with an axe in Limpopo.