Panic as Rasuge's twin goes awol
FRANCIS Rasuge's funeral, just like her death, was marred by controversy.
Her twin sister, Wilheminah, failed to attend the service at Temba Stadium in Hammanskraal yesterday.
Rasuge, a police constable, was killed by her boyfriend William "Hauza" Nkuna, who is now serving a life sentence for the murder.
At the time of his incarceration, her body had not yet been found.
Her remains were found by contractors who were digging a house foundation at Nkuna's home .
Speaking at the eight hour funeral, Rasuge's cousin, Ralph Jones, shocked mourners when he revealed that Wilheminah flew from Korea, where she works, and arrived in South Africa - but could not be traced.
"Francis's twin Wilheminah is not here at the funeral. We tried to contact her but her phone is off. We do not know where she is," said Jones.
One family friend, who did not want to be identified, told Sunday World that Wilheminah was indeed in the country.
"Wilheminah's boyfriend stopped her from attending the funeral. The family knows about this and it is frustrating. How can your boyfriend tell you not to attend your own flesh and blood's funeral?" asked the friend.
Later, one of the programme directors, Jacqui Mofokeng, spin-doctored the matter.
"Wilheminah is in the country. She is at home but could not attend the service. She is ok wherever she is," said Mofokeng.
Rasuge's elder sister could not contain herself and collapsed during the service. She was taken to hospital in an ambulance.
The funeral resembled an ANC Women's League rally as a huge contingent of its members and supporters flocked to the funeral .
Dignitaries such as Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa and Gauteng community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko were in attendance.
Vicky Mokgotsi, Rasuge's former school principal at Makgetsi High School, said the deceased was a bright student.
"The truth has triumphed over evil and the forces of darkness. We have a good reason today to forget the pain that was brought by that incident. we should embrace and celebrate Francis's life," Mokgotsi said.
Hundreds of mourners, including scores of ZCC members, performed their traditional mkhukhu dance in tribute to Rasuge.
Mthethwa said: "We have convened here today to celebrate the life and times of Francis Rasuge, to continue our cultural norms and practices, communal life, human solidarity and ubuntu.
"We want to extend our most sincere condolences to her beloved family, friends, colleagues and the community of Hammanskraal and all the people. We have all today lost a sister," Mthethwa said.
The minister also presented Rasuge's mother with a SAPS hat and the national flag.
Rasuge's remains were laid to rest at Honingnestkrans Cemetery in Pretoria North.
Rasuge given superstar sendoff amid political pomp
Francis Nyadi Rasuge was finally laid to rest yesterday afternoon at the Horingnestkrans Cemetery in Pretoria North.
There was a touch of sad bitterness at the service in Temba Stadium with speaker after speaker telling the weepy human interest story of this dark and mysterious case.
A white casket draped in the South African flag, manned by men in blue and a policewoman's hard cap laid on it, was a telling testament that the physical or rather the bones, has finally gotten its dues. The mysterious interferences, others spiritual and man-made, rumours and conspiracies that added to the public's opinion ladder, were yesterday committed to earth together with Rasuge's bones.
Ralph Jones, who introduced himself as the cousin of Rasuge at the service, said he was disturbed by the fact that the crime scene where Rasuge's bones were exhumed has not been cordoned off.
"That yard is a graveyard . that yard is a tombstone. As a family we believe that the crime scene should have been cordoned off because we assume that it is a crime scene."
He added: "If you were in our shoes you would understand the pain we are feeling today. The pain is unbearable. The pain is unexplained to the family and the mother.
"There were people who knew that Rasuge was being abused and they kept quiet. This is disturbing."
The mood was both celebratory and sombre, with the SAPS Gauteng Band and Drill Platoon adding the sorrowful tone to the funeral service.
Solly Moholo was also there singing the famous struggle song Solomon. Though not sure about the connection of this song to the funeral, mourners were happy to turn the service into a rally.
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, hard-bitten by the inspiration of words, quoted Pablo Neruda's Autumn Testament, which start with "A day dressed in mourning falls from the bells", went on to bless the mourners with the words of faith from Thomas Edison and then the bible - quoting from Isaiah 41:10 to Romans 4:17.
The service soon turned into political speeches with minister of water and environmental affairs Edna Molewa extolling the work of the ANC Women's League, and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa complimenting his charges on a job well done.
Rasuge was no Brenda Fassie or Whitney Houston, but she was accorded a funeral fit for a superstar or a martyr.
Report by MADALA THEPA