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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor


Community mourns Ditebogo Jr: Heartbreaking farewell to five-year-old hijack victim [VIDEO]

Ditebogo Junior Phalane, was shot and killed in Soshanguve last Friday.


Heartbreak and grief filled the air as Ditebogo Phalane Jr’s parents bid their final farewell to their beloved son, just a week after he was fatally wounded by carjackers.

The emotional funeral service for the five-year-old boy unfolded at the Kopanong Hall in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria. The somber occasion came a day after the arrest of two suspects linked to his tragic murder.

Soshanguve hijack horror: Five-year-old Ditebogo killed

In a harrowing incident last Friday evening, tragedy struck the Phalane family as Ditebogo Jr, dashed outside to greet his father. Their reunion took a tragic turn as carjackers attempted to take his father’s vehicle and shot the young boy.

Amid the chaos which ensued, Phalane raced to get Ditebogo Jr to the nearest medical facility. Yet, upon arrival, he was declared dead.

In the wake of this senseless act of violence, the Phalane family and the Soshanguve community grapple with the incomprehensible grief of a young life lost to crime.

ALSO READ: Five-year-old boy killed in hijacking and his father ‘did everything together’

Final farewell to the boy with the magic smile

Throughout the funeral service, Ditebogo Jr’s mother who recently gave birth to his little sister, wept inconsolably as she sat next to her visibly emotional husband.

Ditebogo junior phalane funeral service mother father
Ditebogo Junior Phalane’s mother and his father at the little boy’s funeral service on Friday, 16 May 2024. Picture: YouTube screengrab

His Soshanguve parents penned a poignant letter of farewell to their son in which they expressed their love and gratitude for the honour of being part of his live.

Makoti, Phalane’s cousin, delivered the obituary for the boy who dreamt of becoming a lawyer one day.

Fighting back the tears, he said that the five-year-old would be remembered for his magic smile which always brought hope to everyone’s hearts.

“When the going got tough, you would see him smiling…and then he would sing,” Makoti said, fighting back the tears.

Lamiez Holworthy donates tombstone

Following the service, Ditebogo Jr’s burial took place at the Soshanguve Crossing Cemetery. 

Earlier this week, media personality Lamiez Holworthy announced that she will be covering the expenses of the young boy’s tombstone.

“I have no words. My heart breaks, not only as a mother but as someone who is proudly Pretorian. This can’t be our norm. Ka hana (I refuse). I’d like to pay for Ditebogo Jr’s tombstone,” Lamiez wrote on Instagram.

WATCH: Ditebogo Phalane Jr’s funeral service and burial

‘This is not the end’: Cele dos not rule out further arrests

Gauteng MEC Faith Mazibuko told funeral goers during the service that the provincial government were “gatvol” with crime.

Police Minister Bheki Cele also took to the podium to pay his condolences and provide an update on the investigation.

According to Cele, the two suspects who were due to appear in court today, were arrested after the police enlisted additional resources to assist the investigating team with technology.

The minister revealed that the suspects were “well linked” to the crime scene. Cele added that the arrests are “not the end” as police “are working on other people to be found”.

NOW READ: WATCH: Two arrested in connection with murder of 5-year-old Ditebogo Junior Phalane

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