Hundreds of mourners gathered inside and outside the small hall, while a few men, including government officials, took turns to stand around Mokoena’s white casket carrying placards with messages of no violence against women.
One placard read: “No woman asks or dresses for rape. Man up and respect yourself.”
Karabo’s sister, Bontle, delivered a tearful tribute to her young sibling, saying that she had lost a friend and her pillar of strength.
“All these people have been nothing but supportive to our family during our time of need. I’d like us to continue these friendships we have established,” Bontle said in between sobs.
“And to all of Karabo’s friends, should anyone wish to watch DStv with me, can I please call on you guys to come and sit with me.”
Minister of Women and Children in the Presidency, Susan Shabangu, and Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, attended the funeral, together with many well-known personalities.
Mokoena, a student at Regenesys Business School, was also a volunteer at Freda House, a shelter for destitute women and victims of domestic violence in Bellevue, and was passionate about women’s and children’s rights.
Her badly burnt body was found dumped in a ditch in Bramley on April 29, a day after she was reported missing from her boyfriend’s apartment. Her boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe, is in custody and faces murder charges for allegedly killing her.
Mokoena will be laid to rest at Westpark cemetery.