Diepsloot girls to be laid to rest

The Gauteng government has promised to assist the girls’ family in paying for the ceremony.

FILE: Police were at the scene to monitor protests by angry residents after the bodies of two young girls were found in Diepsloot on 15 October 2013. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Two and three-year-old Zandile and Yonelisa Mali will be buried on Saturday morning at the Diepsloot Cemetery.

The cousins were kidnapped a week ago before being raped and brutally murdered.

Their bodies were then dumped inside a communal toilet cubicle in Diepsloot's Extension One where they were discovered on Tuesday morning.

Visiting the area on Friday, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the provincial government would help to pay for the funeral.

She also said the girls' relatives would receive financial support and counselling going forward.

Mokonyane insisted this was not done to score political points.

"We are doing it because government does it for any indigent family - any family that has got people who are dependent on a grant. This family depends on the pension of a granny. It's not a favour, it's a government responsibility."

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

The funeral is expected to begin at 10am.

The murders caused outrage in the community with residents taking to the streets on Tuesday, barricading roads with bricks and burning tyres and looting shops.

They criticised police for not doing enough to protect them.

Mzwandile Masina, a community leader and ANC Youth League national task team co-ordinator, delivered a memorandum of demands to police on Friday.

He called for monitoring to be improved in the area and for authorities to strengthen relations within Diepsloot.

"We want visible police, we want policing that is working with the community."

However, he also moved to defend the police involved in this particular case, saying they have done well in reacting to the murders.

"More often than not, police have been blamed, but they have moved swiftly to arrest the alleged perpetrators."

Four men arrested earlier in the week will return to court on Thursday while the main suspect, who was arrested on Thursday night, 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.