Diepsloot girls buried

The Gauteng MEC for Community Safety attended, saying more needs to be done to combat poverty.

The tiny coffins of Yonelisa and Zandile Mali are pictured shortly before burial on 19 October 2013. The young cousins were found raped and murdered in Diepsloot earlier in the week. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

DIEPSLOOT - Two young girls have been laid to rest at the Diepsloot Cemetery on Saturday morning after being raped and murdered earlier in the week.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at the cemetery to pay their respects to Two-year-old Yonelisa Mali and her cousin, three-year-old Zandile, whose mutilated bodies were found stuffed in a communal toilet on Tuesday.

Speaking at the funeral ceremony, Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko said her department was overhauling its community safety plan to improve policing and safety in poverty stricken communities like Diepsloot.

Mazibuko believes poverty in Diepsloot contributes to high levels of crime and says more needs to be done to combat the problem in the area.

Mourners have described the two girls as innocent and loving and say they were always lively at church.

As part of their tradition, the Mali family has burned the funeral programmes after the burial.

Meanwhile, residents of Diepsloot say they are sick and tired of the high crime rate in the area and have convened a special prayer meeting in the afternoon to ask for divine intervention.

They also say men in the community should do more to protect women and children, a call repeated by Mazibuko.

Pastors in the area have pledged to follow up cases that are not attended to and have asked the community to stand together to fight crime.

But the community has commended the police for their swift action in apprehending those allegedly involved in the crime.

Five men have been arrested this week and the main suspect is expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday.