Tearing scenes: Inside the funeral service of Kgomotso Diale who was killed by alleged illegal migrants

Tearing scenes: Inside the funeral service of Kgomotso Diale who was killed by alleged illegal migrants

Tearing scenes: Inside the funeral service of Kgomotso Diale who was killed by alleged illegal migrants 1

Residents have been urged not to take revenge for Kgomotso Diale’s murder. Family, friends, residents and members of Operation Dudula gathered at Pimville Community Centre on Saturday, 23 April, for his funeral.

Kgomotso, who was also a community leader, was shot and killed during a meeting between Pimville and Chicken Farm squatter camp residents over allegations of cable theft on Monday, 18 April.

A police presence remained high as mourners, believed to be members of Dudula, discharged firearms during funeral proceedings as part of bidding him farewell.

Tearing scenes: Inside the funeral service of Kgomotso Diale who was killed by alleged illegal migrants 2

Kgomotso Diale

Addressing mourners, community leader Thabang Moloi said: “I plead with you to let go of revenge, and engage with our government and give it time to resolve our issues.”

Thabang apologised to Kgomotso’s family for their loss, adding that he was also scared for his life.

“We never meant to leave Kgomotso behind. We all ran because we were scared. We didn’t understand what was happening because we went there to talk, one community to another.”

Tearing scenes: Inside the funeral service of Kgomotso Diale who was killed by alleged illegal migrants 3

Kgomotso Diale

Sharing on days leading up to Kgomotso’s death, he said electricity had been going on and off.

Then they later learnt that Chicken Farm residents, mostly Lesotho nationals, were allegedly stealing cables. They decided to hold a meeting.

“We were about 60 women and children plus 40 men. We walked peacefully,” said Thabang, adding that they were joined by Dudula youth leader Nhlanhla “Lux” Dlamini, in his capacity as a resident.

Thabang said upon arrival, he decided to lead talks. He spoke to the men dressed in Sotho traditional blankets in their own shared language – but all hell broke loose.Tearing scenes: Inside the funeral service of Kgomotso Diale who was killed by alleged illegal migrants 4

 

Kgomotso Diale

“One man took out his gun. I laid my hand on his shoulder to calm him down. Then another one took his rifle from underneath his blanket. We ran for our lives, dodging bullets,” said Thabang.

He added that rifles, including AK-47s, were repeatedly and randomly fired.

Tearing scenes: Inside the funeral service of Kgomotso Diale who was killed by alleged illegal migrants 5

“This was not a Dudula march, as reported in the media. It was one community speaking to another. Duda is not xenophobic.”

Both Thabang and Lux said there were rumours that a particular group of people was coming for them.

“We are in this mess today because of leaders who thought brown envelopes were better than people. We are not going to make this battle about Basotho versus South Africans. But we are going to deal with criminals,” he said.