Tears flowed at the Trinity Methodist Church Hall during the memorial service of Nolukhanyo Mtalana, 30, who lost her life in a hail of bullets in Nyanga last week (“Khanyo to be remembered”, Vukani, November 15).
On Tuesday November 20 relatives, friends and community members, could not hold back the tears as their loved one was fondly remembered during a moving ceremony in a packed church. Ms Mtalana had been driving home after returning from Crossroads Methodist Church at 8pm and visiting her mum’s house in Old Crossroads when she was shot. Remembering her life, speakers described her as a jolly person who was always dedicated to whatever she was involved in and reaching out to everyone. Her church said she was willing to help those who needed help and praised her for loving people and herself. It said when she was at church, she would spend her time talking to almost everyone before she left.
Those who spoke also slammed femicide, saying they felt the abuse against women and children is on the rise. In his remarks Reverend Msizi Msibi appealed to the community to help fight the scourge. “Her death shows that the issues of femicide are far from over. The killing of women is continuing. It did not end with Reeva Steenkamp but is still happening,” he told the mourners.
The more than two-hour long service celebrated Nolukhanyo Mtalana’s life with songs. Her sister Nolufefe described her as a person who devoted her time to building her family. At times trying hard to hold back tears, Nolufefe said her sister was a strong woman.
“We said she had nine lives because she survived cancer. She was a pillar of strength. She loved her family. She was always fighting for me and would make sure we win the fight. This is not a good time for me and my family but it is my time to to take over now,” she told the congregation.
Among the mourners was Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo who also slammed the killing of women. Dr Mbombo said no one should ever abuse women and children and get away with it. Addressing the prayer meeting, she appealed to women to work together to fight the scourge. She said it was about time that women pull each other up and give much-needed support to each other.Ms Mbombo said the incident comes shortly before the country was preparing the commemoration of the annual worldwide 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. She said women must be treated with respect.
Ms Mtalana will be buried in the Eastern Cape this coming Saturday at Idutywa.
No one has been arrested for her murder yet. Call 08600 10111 if you can help with the investigation.