An evening of protest was followed by a day of mourning in Chatsworth yesterday, as the community gathered for the funeral service of Shallcross girl Sadia Sukhraj, who was killed during a botched hijacking on Monday.
Sukhraj’s funeral was held at the Christian Revival Centre, with more than 2 000 people gathering to pay their respects, as her casket with her dressed in a pink dress and a tiara stood at the front of the church.
Sukhraj was in her father’s car on the way to school when they were hijacked by three men outside her grandparents’ home. The hijackers sped off, and her father gave chase.
A shootout allegedly ensued, leading to the girl’s death. The hijackers collided with a truck, and one of the attackers was arrested, while a second died at the scene. A third is still on the run.
Sukhraj later died in hospital. Investigations have yet to reveal who fired the shot that killed her.
Members of the Chatsworth community took to the streets on Monday evening, demanding more visible policing.
Videos were posted on social media of community members burning tyres in front of the Chatsworth police station, demanding an audience for their concerns about escalating crime in the area.
The protest was allegedly sparked by a community member, Ashley Pillay, who heard of the girl’s death via social media groups. He said the irate crowd became frustrated with the Chatsworth police’s “lack of interest in their concerns”.
“All we want is for the police to do their job effectively. The little girl lost her life and we feel that enough is enough,” said Pillay.
“We want to be heard. We want our concerns addressed and we want answers as to what is going to be done to curb the escalating crime rate.”
Police used teargas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.
– Citizen reporter/Additional reporting by Chatsworth Rising Sun