A six-year-old girl was raped and killed after buying candy and a packet of chips from the store.
Inathi Mhlahlo’s half-naked body was found in bushes near her home in the South African community of Mdantsane just five hours after she disappeared.
The young woman who was stabbed near her neck had removed her pants, underwear and shoes.
Her heartbroken mother Thandiwe has now revealed how her little girl dreamed of becoming a model or a doctor when she was older.
She said her daughter asked her to surprise her with a present on their last conversation.
Thandiwe told DispatchLive: “I have no answers. My little girl’s life has been brutally cut. In our last conversation, she said I should surprise her with a present. It hurts.
“When she wanted something from me, she called me Chommie, not Mommie.”
Thandiwe described how she only found out her daughter was missing when she got home from work on Monday afternoon.
Her sister Phaphama said the family started a search for the six-year-old after she did not come back from the store.
They couldn’t find her in the usual places and panicked when the owner of the store she went to said he hadn’t seen her.
Other locals joined in efforts to find Inathi until the family received a phone call telling them that she had been found.
Phaphama said, “A phone call came to say I need to bring a blanket. We thought it was still alive when we rushed to the hospital. We were shocked to find it had been gone a long time. She had one Stab wound on the upper body. “
Relatives called the little girl by her name in the hospital and expected that she would wake up – which she did not.
A police investigation is ongoing, although no arrests have been made.