"Miguel, I love you so much. I will give up everything just to have you back home with us"
Those were the tearful words of Miguel Louw's sister Mikayla, 13, in an exclusive interview with The Mercury last night.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Louw family were given the devastating news that the body of the boy found in Longbury, Phoenix, last week was indeed that of 9-year-old Miguel, after police confirmed that the DNA results were positive.
Miguel went missing on July 17 after walking home from Rippon Primary School in Sydenham.
Mikayla, who is in Grade 8, said she shared a very close bond with her brother and she was struggling to come to terms with his death.
" We did everything together, from going to the shop and playing. I am lost without my brother."
She said Miguel was an animal-lover and was excited when one of their dogs had a litter of puppies, just before he went missing.
" He would play with them as soon as he woke up and it was the same when he got home from school."
She said it had been a difficult few weeks for her and her parents.
" When I heard Miguel had been kidnapped, I was so scared for him. Miguel was very close to my mom and me. He never stayed over with friends or family. I was terrified for him.
" He was also a very quiet and timid boy. I cannot imagine the fear that he must have felt."
The news of his death came as a shock for the whole Louw family.
" We prayed and were hopeful we would find him alive. I cannot believe I will never see my brother again. I sometimes think it's just a bad dream, and when I wake up I will see Miguel"
She said planning the funeral was also taking its toll on the family.
" This is a difficult time. But I am trying to be strong for my parents."
The family have asked that those attending Miguel's funeral wear white to symbolise an innocent soul taken before his time.
The service will take place tomorrow at 10.30am at St Anne's Catholic Parish, in Randles Road, Sydenham.
A private cremation will follow later.
Domenic King, of Combined Community Watch, who was involved in the search for Miguel, said: " When the body was found they took it badly, but they were holding on to the hope that it wasn't him. Now that it has been confirmed, they are completely devastated."
Miguel's school, Rippon Primary, were due to hold a memorial prayer at the school today.
The Sydenham Community Policing Forum has organised chef Solly Manjra to provide catering for the funeral. A large crowd is expected.
CPF spokesperson Satish Dhupelia said they had decided to step in and help the family at this difficult time.
He said while it was such a tragic turn of events, it was heart-warming to see the community of Durban rally around the family.
Police have confirmed the man accused of kidnapping Miguel, Mohammed Ebrahim, 43, would be charged with murder.
He is still in police custody after he failed to pay his R2 500 bail last month after his arrest on the kidnapping charges relating to Miguel's disappearance and theft charges.
He is due back in court on Monday.
Miguel Louw's sister Mikayla, 13, said she shared a very close bond with her brother and she was struggling to come to terms with his death. ...