Wet weather could not dampen the spirits of Makhaza residents and advocacy groups from hosting a special memorial service for Anelisa Dulaze who was killed and buried near a half built house in the area last year.
The 21-year-old former Rhodes University drama student disappeared while celebrating her 21st birthday in January and was found four months later on May 21.
Anelisa’s body was discovered near the house of her boyfriend, Monwabisi Mbombo who has been arrested in connection with her murder.
Mbombo, a professional magician, is still behind close bars and is expected to appear in the Cape High Court tomorrow, Friday May 5.
It was not clear whether Anelisa had been raped before she was killed.
A group of residents and community leaders gathered at Makhaza Park on Wokers’ Day, Monday May 1, to celebrate her life and show their unwavering support to her family.
Anelisa’s mother, Vathiswa could not attend the service because she was apparently still too traumatised and battling to come to grips with the sudden death of her daughter who had a promising future as an actor.
Speakers called on parents, particular fathers, to be good role-models and at the forefront of the fight against crime and women abuse.
Nosiphelele Msiswa, educator at Social Justice Coalition (SJC), said the harsh reality is that when girls opted to end relationships with their partners, they are often victimised and abused because their boyfriends often do not want to end the relationship.
She said residents needed to stand together and support each other. She described the death of Anelisa as a horrific loss to the family and the country.
“We need to care for one another. You should know what is happening at your neighbour’s house and be the first to call for help.
The time of sugar coating things is over and boys need to be taught violence is not the way to solve matters. We need to rally behind the mother of Anelisa to show her that she is not alone,” she said.
Mowwabisi Luthuli, founder of Olivet Apostolic Ministry, blamed fathers for not instilling discipline and respect in boys.
He said the inability of families to sit down and confront issues facing their children is one of the major factors that lead to young men behaving in a violent manner.
Mr Luthuli said the failure of parents to advise and continuously guide boys on how they should behave was another issue. He said young boys need to be taught that a man does not need to boost his ego by being violent. He said many men often used violence as a way of instilling authority and now boys are imitating that bad behaviour.
He lambasted parents for not setting a good example for their children, saying parents often fought in front of children.
He believes that the true reflection of a society is revealed in how it treats its children.
Mr Luthuli then called on families to have a round table conversation with their children so that they are prepared for the world.