Rethabile Rapuleng was alive and "fighting for life" when her aunt rushed to her aid in a vain bid to help her after a shooting outside a school in Ekurhuleni.
The 12-year-old succumbed to head-wound injuries at the Bertha Gxowa Hospital on Thursday morning, after being caught in crossfire linked to taxi association rivalry in Katlehong on Wednesday afternoon.
She had been waiting at the Izibuko Primary School in Katlehong to see a friend on Wednesday afternoon, who was among a group returning from a school excursion, when gunmen opened fire.
An elderly man, who was picking up his two grandchildren in Grade R at Izibuko, was killed on the scene.
Zanele Molefe, 41, who lives close to the school, recounted the events leading up to her niece's death.
Rethabile was a Grade 6 pupil at Mogobeng Primary, also in Katlehong. She and other pupils were at Izibuko to meet friends who had been on a school trip when gunshots rang out.
Molefe said she heard the shots, looked out and saw a taxi nearby.
"A number of men went into the taxi after the incident. We thought it was random."
Then one of the pupils called her to the school.
"When we got there, she was lying close to the dead man. She fought for her life ... "