'I can see with one eye'
As politicians and a small religious group prayed for the eight-year-old, whose eye was gouged out in a horror rape attack last week, the little girl sat on her bed colouring pictures in a book.
Her battered face lit up when KwaZulu-Natal social development MEC Weziwe Thusi entered her room, but the child could not understand why Thusi was there.
The Grade 2 pupil, who cannot be named, has been described by her family as "full of hope" because, when she learned that her left eye had been removed, she exclaimed: "I can see with my other eye."
A week ago, she was walking home from school in Mvutshini village, in Gingindlovu, with a 15-year-old boy when he allegedly dragged her into a field and attacked her.
He allegedly tried to gouge out her eyes and to strangle her.
The girl dragged herself to her home where she collapsed in front of her grandmother.
"I had lost faith that she would be able to see. But I was excited when I received a call from a nurse saying the child wanted to talk to me. She said: 'Gogo, I can see'.
"I'm grateful for everything done for us during our traumatic experience. There has been enormous sympathy and the boy's family also visited us.
"I thank God that my little angel is home and she can see," the 75-year-old grandmother said yesterday.
The attack has shocked the close-knit community.
Neighbours described the boy as quiet and respectful.
It is alleged that earlier, at school, the boy tried to strangle another eight-year-old girl in a toilet.
He has been charged with rape and attempted murder, and was released into his parents' custody until his next court appearance.
He is expected to undergo psychiatric evaluation.
Yesterday, Uthungulu district municipality mayor Thembeka Mchunu told MEC Thusi that several parents were worried about their daughters' safety .
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini condemned the alleged rape.
"We must end the scourge of rape that is tarnishing the image of our nation," he said.
When Thusi visited the boy's family yesterday, his guardian said she could not understand why he did that.
"Our families have been very close and even shared food. I've been to the victim's family and was welcomed by the child's grandmother," she sobbed.
Thusi said she visited the boy's family because they needed support as well.