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BOY (14) STABS, KILLS ANOTHER (16) IN PUBLIC

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LOBAMBA - A teenage boy aged 16 years was stabbed to death by a 14-year-old following a tiff over failure to count money adequately.

The murder of the teenager at the hands of another minor occurred at Lobamba, near the traffic circle dissecting traffic to Lozitha, Mahlanya and Lobamba. The teenagers got into a squabble after the deceased, Nkhotsamelo Kapamba, mocked *John over the purported failure to change adequate money for a customer.

The two were selling fruits and vegetables on behalf of some vendors stationed at the Mahlanya Market. The duo had travelled about five kilometres targeting clients, who travelled along the Lobamba – Mahlanya Road to surrounding areas such as Sitjeni, Lozitha, Lobamba and Ezulwini. When the tiff escalated to murder, the two were at Sihlahleni opposite the Ludzidzini Royal Residence, where they alternated in selling the wares.

Mocked

It was said Kapamba had in jest mocked John in that he had a challenge with Mathematics. This, the witnesses alleged, did not sit well with John, as he was said to have pulled out an Okapi knife and stabbed the deceased once, in the plender gap (area between the neck and the shoulder). In shock, Kapamba was said to have fled the scene while holding the plender gap to stop the bleeding. However, witnesses said the deceased fell to the ground about 10 metres from where they were selling their wares.

When reporters from this publication visited the scene of the incident, sweet potatoes were found under a tree. Also at the scene, was Lobamba community police member Bongani Maseko, who was inspecting the crime scene. Maseko said he had been informed that the pair was on the side of the road, which had traffic driving towards Lobamba and it was where the argument ensued and resulted in the deceased being stabbed.

His assertions were also cemented by some vendors at Mahlanya Market, where the two teenagers spent most of their time selling wares for a commission from the vendors. Among them was Ntsege Fakudze, who was caring for the deceased. Fakudze said she got the news on Monday evening and had been overwhelmed by emotion, as she had adopted Kapamba, since he was vulnerable.

She described the deceased as a hustler and had learnt to take care of himself after his guardians passed on. Fakudze said as much as she did not reside with Kapamba, she had assumed the role of a mother and catered for his basic needs.

Fakudze said the deceased had in recent months established relations with his father who lives in Zambia and they had to communicate the sad news to him. “We had to phone his father as his relatives, besides him, are unknown to us. The father said he will be in the country tomorrow (today),” Fakudze said. She said the deceased came to be at the Mahlanya Market after he completed Grade VII at Mahlanya Primary School and lacked resources to proceed with his education. Primary schooling in Eswatini is offered to all children at no cost, through the Free Primary Education (FPE) Programme.

Meanwhile, Fakudze said the deceased started offering to sell wares in exchange for commission at the marketplace. She said he met his assailant at the marketplace years back, as the 14-year-old accused of killing Kapamba was from the area and his parents were selling their wares at Mahlanya as well. In fact, the guardian of the 14-year-old boy has a stall about 20 metres from Fakudze’s.

She said it was communicated to her that Kapamba had died minutes after being stabbed. This was also confirmed by Deputy Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Assistant Superintendent Nosipho Mnguni.
Mnguni said: “On Monday, at around 5pm, a 16-year-old boy of Lobamba was stabbed once in the neck with an Okapi knife and died while at Lobamba, Esihlahleni traffic circle.” She said the police were investigating the murder.

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