“My son was too young to have died like this”

Daneel Knoetze
A witness who wished to remain anonymous points to where Nkosiyabo Mhlankomo was killed. Photo by Masixole Feni.
Daneel Knoetze

The father of a sixteen-year-old boy who was killed by a mob in Mfuleni yesterday has criticised the police for not being on hand to help prevent the attack or to arrest any of the killers.

At around dawn yesterday morning the boy, Nkosiyabo Mhlankomo, is alleged to have robbed a woman of her cellphone and R20 in cash in Shukushukuma informal settlement. Residents who were alerted pursued Mhlankomo and chased him to an open field on the fringes of the shacks.

Here, an eyewitness says, Mhlankomo was stabbed, stoned and set alight. The witness showed GroundUp the spot where police apparently found Mhlankomo’s body at 6:40 am. The earth was scorched and there was debris from a fire and heaps of sand.

A few hundred metres away is the shack of Faro Smanga, Mhlankomo’s father. Yesterday afternoon a group of mourners were sitting quietly outside the shack. Smanga said he wanted those responsible for the killing to be arrested.

“Yes, we know that my son was acting like a skollie some times,” he said, sitting in darkness in the room he uses as a traditional healer.

“He did rob people for his own benefit, and didn’t stay at home much. But, we were talking to him and trying to get him to leave those ways. He was still young. Too young to have died like this.”

Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed the death. The circumstances are being investigated and no one has been arrested, he said yesterday.

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TOPICS:  Crime Murder Robbery Violence

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