Last year
Ontlametse’s friend Beandri Booysen at the memorial service. Photo by Samson Ratswana  ~ 

THE brave little girl with the big heart will be laid to rest today.

Ontlametse Phalatse’s father, Lawrence Matjane, said the funeral service will be held at home and will start at 7am.

There will be many speakers, including President Jacob Zuma, so Matjane is not sure what time they will leave for the Hebron Cemetery in North West.

Yesterday, a memorial service was held at Mmanotshi Secondary School in Hebron.

It was attended by Ontlametse’s family, neighbours, friends, schoolkids, teachers and local businesspeople.

Her friend Beandri Booysen, who also suffers from progeria, was there too.

Ontlametse’s childhood friend Tebogo Gololo said: “She was a comforter and a great friend.”

Speaking on behalf of the family, her uncle Seakgwe Phalatse asked the crowd to sing a verse of Ga gona yo tshwanang le Jesu.

He said Ontlametse soldiered on through all the challenges she faced.

She died a month before her mother’s birthday.

Thato Mbha of Somizi’s reality show, Living The Dream, met Ontlametse two months ago.

He said that is where it was discussed that Ontlametse should meet the president.

“Ontlametse deserved a state funeral,” said Thato.

Thami Dyani, the principal of Hebron Primary School, said they named her Mpho E Ntle because of the good she did for the school.

“She asked the education department to help the school and she also organised sanitary towels for girls.”

Ontlametse’s mother, Bellon, was comforted by deputy social development minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu.

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