Delft burn, rape victim to be buried

The Delft girl (9), who was raped and set alight, will be laid to rest today.

Elihle Hlanjwa was raped, set light and left for dead. Picture: Mia Spies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A nine-year-old Delft girl, who was raped and set alight, will be given an emotional farewell today as she is laid to rest.

Elihle Hlanjwa died in hospital last week after she was raped and set alight earlier this year.

As dozens of mourners wait for a hearse to arrive at her home, her school friends are lining the streets.

A goat is ready to be ritually slaughtered, as part of the funeral service and a dance group will perform to honour the little girl affectionately known as Queen, who also loved dancing.

The family says her mother Amanda is still reeling and is very fragile today.

The service will also be attended by non-government organisations and government officials.

The man accused of the crime appeared in court on Thursday, where the criminal charges against him were changed from that of attempted murder to murder.

Cathy Arendse, who is part of the One Billion Rising movement, says they have been assisting Hlanjwa's family as well as the three-year-old girl who was raped in Mfuleni at the weekend.

Arendse says it is heart-breaking that such horrific acts happen to innocent children.

"Imagine he didn't rape her. He still set her alight and it was a few metres away from her house! Why?"

She says that as a mother, she cannot begin to imagine what the parents of these children are experiencing.

The case has been postponed to 8 May for further investigation.