Farewell, baby Zhania

Six-month old baby, who was shot dead in a drive-by, is laid to rest.

The mother of the six-month-old baby girl, who was killed by gangsters a week ago, says she can now look at videos and photos of her daughter without breaking down.

“I am not saying I will never cry again, but I am at peace, because I know she smiles down on us all,” says Cindy Woodward, who lost her only child in a tragic shooting.

On Saturday morning, hundreds of mourners came to say their final goodbyes to baby Zahnia Thorne Woodward.

Mourners were greeted by a tiny white coffin in the St Andrew’s Catholic Church in Ocean View, a pink Minnie Mouse plush doll and a framed picture of Zahnia next to her coffin.

A shattered Cindy, 20, and Zahnia’s father Bradley Robyn, 24, sat in front and looked on as more than 700 people came up to the coffin to smile one last time at their baby.

Cindy said she was amazed and grateful at the support and love shown by her community.

“I really thought I was going to pass out, I did not think I would make it through the service, but Brad was with me and my mother, Jennifer, and Brad’s mom, Sharon.

“All their support has meant so much, it has brought us all closer as a family,” Cindy tells the Daily Voice.

During the emotional service, which had everyone in tears, pictures of a happy and bubbly Zahnia were flashed across the projector screen.

Father Sebastian Pettaphuza, who officiated, says while it was difficult for the community to accept Zahnia’s death, it was also a chance for mense to reflect on their own lives.

“People fight for their own selfishness and most of them are under the influence of drugs and alcohol,” he said.

“Each one of us must respect the lives of others. This is when we will experience joy and happiness.”

During the service, Bradley and Cindy drew strength from each other by holding hands.

After the service, Bradley carried Zahnia’s little coffin to the hearse himself, while Cindy clutched the framed picture and Minnie Mouse doll.

Also in attendance was ward councillor Patricia Francke and Community Safety MEC Dan Plato.

Francke says Zahnia’s death was a wake-up call for many.

“Her death has meant something to the community. Addicts are coming and telling me they want to change because of what happened to her,” said Francke.

Plato says police are still investigating who the intended target of the shooting was.

“We need to know who is giving the orders. They have to have their day [in court],” he told Weekend Argus.

The baby was shot through the head in Carnation Road, Ocean View, on December 30, while sitting on her dad’s lap.

They were with three of Bradley’s friends, waiting at a bus stop for Cindy to return from work.

Five occupants driving a white VW Golf had opened fire on them.

Zahnia died in the ambulance en route to Red Cross Hospital.

Cindy said she was at peace “for now”, and that the most difficult part was when the hearse drove off with her little girl inside.

“I could not stop the tears then. I did not think I could do the funeral, but I did. God gave me the strength to get through it,” she says.

“She was my whole heart, but she can rest now, I know she watches over us and that gives me peace.”

Zahnia will be cremated tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the one suspect police arrested for the murder so far, Christopher September, 31, from Hout Bay, will appear in court on Friday for bail information.

The Ocean View community is planning a protest outside court, and will also hand over a petition demanding bail be denied

source daily voice

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