Mandla Mhlanga’s family goes to rest

The four family members were found dead in an incident that has left the community stunned.

The funeral service of Pearl Malang-Mhlanga and her three kids was held at the Ackerville township in eMalahleni on Saturday morning.

They were buried just after noon at the Old Pretoria Road Memorial Park.

Mandla's family goes to rest

The Mhlanga family said now that they have gone through the process of burying them they can try and “find ways to heal”.

Elder brother Albert Mhlanga said they now needed to “admit” that the four “are no longer with us”.

“They have left,” he said on Sunday afternoon.

The double lane convoy that took off from the Alliance church in Ackerville just after midday shut down Kwa-Guqa’s main arterial traffic route as the cortege made its way to the final resting place of the mother and her three children.

A deep sense of trepidation and sorrow pervaded the atmosphere as thousands of community members gathered around the gravesite, among them members of parliament, the speakers of Nkangala’s six municipalities and the mayor of eMalahleni Cllr Lindiwe Ntshalintshali.

For many of the friends, neighbours and colleagues who had known and shared their lives with the young couple the horror of seeing a father bury his entire family was an innately overwhelming and painful experience.

A 10-year old boy, clad in his full St Thomas Aquinas School uniform (one of the oldest and prestigious schools in eMalahleni) struggled to hold back his tears as his friend’s little white coffin descended into the ground, comforted only by his mothers arms. 10-year old Quanisha was a grade 4 a pupil at the catholic private school.

Mandla's family goes to rest

Mandla sat in a lonesome chair overlooking the single grave that would receive his entire family. Beside him, holding his hand throughout the requiem proceedings, sat mayor Ntshalintshali who had cut short her working trip to China to come back and support the family.

Mandla's family goes to rest

Pearl, her three kids – 10-year-old Quanisha‚ 5-year-old Quirino and 7-month-old Quain – died a week ago in their home in Skiatos complex in Reyno Ridge.

Husband, 40-year-old Mandla Mhlanga came home to find that Pearl had committed suicide and killed the children.

A domestic worker arrived on the Monday morning of 10 July 2017 as usual and knocked on the door but found that they were not responding and alerted Pearl’s sister who came with a spare key to open the door.

Mandla, a local psychologist and businessman, had left home earlier on Saturday apparently after a fight with Pearl. She called him and when he didn’t pick his calls up she sent an SMS, telling him he “will be sorry”.

Family sources said Mandla, who was finalising a divorce with Pearl, told them he blamed himself for what happened, “for not being there to protect my kids”.

“It has affected him so badly. He wished he could have done things differently, at least be there to save the lives of their kids. Pearl knew that Mandla loved his kids and that that was his weakness and used it to hurt him,” a friend who is privy to the matter said.

eMalahleni mayor Lindiwe Ntshalintshali said that this is the first time they lose so many family members.

“We’ve never seen such,” she said on the sidelines of the funeral.

“For the first time in my life I have seen four bodies in one grave; it’s something that is very abnormal,” she said.

Mandla's family goes to rest

“But we’re calling on all our fraternal structures, on our community members and church leaders to come and pray for eMalahleni because this is not our fight, we need divine intervention,” said Ntshalintshali.

(edited by MLM)

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