South Africa

Kgothatso Mdunana’s funeral: older sister remembers ‘natural bond’

Kgothatso Mdunana's funeral took place in Alexandra, Johannesburg in June after her body was repatriated from China.

The older sister of Kgothatso Mdunana paid an emotional tribute to her loved one as she was laid to rest in Alexandra, Johannesburg, on Saturday.

“Although we grew miles apart, I was in Limpopo and her in Gauteng when we were together, neither distance nor time seemed to matter as we had an instant connection.”

What makes sibling relationships one of a kind is how natural the bond and love comes for siblings,” Diana Matumba said during Kgothatso Mdunana’s funeral, which was broadcast on Eye Witness News (EWN).

News24 earlier reported that Mdunana, a final-year civil engineering student at the Shandong University of Technology, fell to her death from the 13th floor of an apartment building in Hangzhou, China.

Police in China ruled her death as an accident. News24 further reported that the Chinese Embassy in South Africa said the police had ruled out homicide as a cause of death in a previous statement.

Kgothatso Mdunana’s death accidental – Chinese authorities

“Information received by the Embassy shows that the police in China has ruled out the possibility of homicide after a careful investigation. The established cause of death has been found to be the accidental fall from a building,” the statement said. Mdunana’s remains were brought to South Africa after funds were raised for her repatriation.

During the funeral service, Matumba spoke of the fond memories she had of her sister, including the day their father dropped them off at the movies.

“My dad dropped us off at the movies, and as we were walking out of the auditorium after watching, we noticed another one starting. I remember looking at [her], and we were both thinking, let’s go watch another one for free, and we did,” she giggled as she told the story.

Matumba added that she imagined that she would share more memories with her sister in the future, but that was cut short in April 2021.

“Life changed radically on 30 April 2021, but the memories we shared have not changed, and for that, I am eternally grateful for you and the light you shined so bright.”

Kgothatso, your light still shines today. Even as we lay you to rest, your light will continue to shine and remind us to live life to the fullest, not be afraid to get out of our comfort zones and chase our dreams, and above all, it will remind us to love and cherish one another,” she said.

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