Pretoria: Warrant Officer Lando Jwara says he is grateful to everyone who assisted in giving three-year-old Mpho Khoakhoali a dignified funeral at the Kagiso Methodist Church on Tuesday.
Little Mpho was reported missing five weeks ago. Police found her badly decomposing body in the lift shaft of a former office block in Johannesburg central where her family were living. Her parents have been arrested in connection with her murder.
“This investigation caused me a lot of pain. I am so grateful to my neighbours, the community, my colleagues at Kagiso Police Station and the funeral parlour which gave us a casket for her body,” said Jwara on Wednesday from his home.
The Warrant Officer, who was the investigating officer in the case, said he decided to assist in arranging the funeral when Mpho’s parents said they did not have the funds to do so.
“I told them that with their permission, I would go out of my way to ensure the baby gets a decent funeral. I just wanted her to have a good send off.
“I got the ball rolling by going to a funeral parlour and asking them to assist. The body was already decomposing so we had to be quick. The Fepopekele Funeral Parlour gave us a casket for the baby.”
The Warrant Officer said despite receiving chemotherapy treatment for cancer, he worked on his official leave days to carry on the investigation into the disappearance of the girl. Mpho’s mother had accused the police of dragging their feet.
“I’m really relieved that this is over,” said Jwara.
Tsietsi and Thandi Khoakhoali are expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on 21 August for a formal bail application.