Dignity at last for little Baby Kenosi

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

Grave number KZ2086 in Sharpeville in the Vaal is Baby Kenosi's new home.

"There she will rest and her soul will guide other children who are abandoned just like she was," said one of the women who attended her funeral yesterday.

The woman was one among many mourners, mostly mothers and elderly members of the Bophelong community.

Unlike when she was found wrapped in rags and left alone in the veld on a bitterly cold night, the one-month-old baby was dressed in new clothes as she lay in her tiny coffin, covered in wreaths.

"God will give her a better life in heaven, a life that she never had a chance to live here," said Pastor Spandish Mudau.

Baby Kenosi, as she was christened by Sowetan, was given a solemn send-off at her funeral ceremony - held at the Faith Mission Church in Bophelong.

Many residents from around the township paid tribute to Baby Kenosi.

Orlando Pirates supporters and officials from Emfuleni and Sedibeng local municipalities attended the dignified funeral and paid their respects.

"We were really committed to giving Baby Kenosi a decent burial. She did not deserve to be left alone like that," said Sipho Makhubu of S3 Funeral Undertakers.

Constable Mandla Zwane of the Vanderbijilpark police said they were faced with similar cases almost daily.

"The main contributing factors are unemployment and domestic violence," Zwane said.

He said everyone had to join hands to win the war against violence.

Speakers appealed to whoever abandoned her to come forward.

"We will arrange counselling for the person, we will not persecute her because we understand that one will only resort to such measures out of desperation," said Sedibeng mayor Dikeledi Tsotetsi.

A message of condolence from Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza was read out by Mphallwa Molepo.

In hushed tones people talked about how the abandoned baby must have suffered.

"How could a person do this to a child? Women, we are truly lost," said one mourner.

Pauline Hobyani of Childline said: "We are always available to assist where we can and parents do not have to abandon their children. They can give them up for adoption."

lBaby Kenosi was found in the bushes by grass cutter Sello Mokgoro two weeks ago.