A bird builds (its nest) with another's feathers, goes the old isiXhosa proverb.
This adage held true amid xenophobic mayhem that shocked the country this week.
Unlike their counterparts in Alexandra township, two communities from Ekurhuleni informal settlements joined hands yesterday to bury a destitute immigrant from Mozambique.
The funeral was attended by about 50 mourners at Rynsoord Cemetery, Benoni.
Victoria Hauti, 56, died in the Far East Rand Hospital in February but could not be buried because no one had claimed her body.
The single mother of a 10-year-old mentally handicapped girl, Nonhlanhla, and a 17-year-old boy, Peto, was buried by the communities of Lindelani Transit Camp and Kingsway in Benoni.
The funeral was organised by Mafube Care Centre founder Nthabiseng Maila and local gospel singer Thabiso Moloi.
Maila said she became aware of Peto and Nonhlanhla's plight when their mother's friend, Maria Citha, told her about the death in March.
"I assumed that the funeral would be held soon." Maila said. "I was surprised when in May Maria told me the woman had not yet been buried because no one had claimed her body from the mortuary.
"After Thabiso and Maria voiced their concerns about the delay and the effect it was having on the children, we asked for help from the Pyramid Funeral Parlour."
She said that without any hesitation parlour director Max Maxopini agreed to bury Hauti free of charge. Local residents volunteered to provide food and other necessities.
Maxopini said: "We do this every time an indigent case is made known to us. It does not matter who or where the person comes from."
Peto, who dropped out of grade 6 to look after his mother and sister, said his mother became ill in 2006 and was in and out of hospital for a long time.
The funeral service was conducted by Father Noka Motheo of the Roman Catholic Church.
Maila has undertaken to help Peto continue his education and to approach social workers to place Nonhlanhla in an institution for the mentally disabled.