Bulawayo teen killed in turf war
By Pamela Shumba
BULAWAYO – An 18-year-old Pumula South firewood vendor was stabbed to death in a turf war involving teenage gangsters in the suburb.
Mthulisi Ncube died minutes after a rival gangster allegedly plunged a knife into his neck on Thursday at around 6PM. He was reportedly trying to stop his friends from fighting two boys.
Witnesses said his friends were having a heated exchange with their rivals whom they found walking in their “territory”.
The stabbing, which reportedly involved pupils from a local high school, occurred in full view of vendors who sell their wares along Intemba Road in Pumula South.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo yesterday confirmed the incident and said the suspect, Prosper Dungeni, 21, had been arrested.
A witness, who preferred to remain anonymous, told The Chronicle that what started as a petty fight ended tragically.
“It was about 6PM and Mthulisi was preparing to go home. He was with his two friends. Just before they left, two boys, who were coming from the Nkulumane Complex emerged and they started quarrelling,” said the visibly shocked woman.
“Mthulisi’s friends immediately confronted the boys and asked them why they were walking in their territory. The boys warned Mthulisi’s friends to stay away from them but they wouldn’t listen. Mthulisi also told his friends to stop what they were doing but instead they started throwing stones at the other boys.”
The woman said a scuffle ensued, while Mthulisi continued dissuading his friends from fighting.
“Mthulisi kept on telling his friends that he wanted to go home and didn’t want to be involved in a fight. One of the boys, who they were calling Prosper produced a knife and threatened to stab Mthulisi’s friends.
“Mthulisi’s friends retreated and Prosper walked towards Mthulisi, still holding the knife in his hand and stabbed him on the neck. When the boys realised that Mthulisi was bleeding, they fled. He started hiccupping and crossed the road, before sitting on the ground,” she said.
The woman said she ran to Mthulisi’s house to look for his father but did not find him.
She said Mthulisi had bled to death by the time she returned to the scene.
Mthulisi’s father Cephas Ncube on Thursday night spoke of the horror of suddenly being told his son was dead.
He could not hold his tears as he stood over his son’s body.
“This is where I drop off when I’m coming from work. I saw people gathered here and I was wondering what was going on. As I was trying to find out my phone rang and a neighbour told me that my son had been stabbed.
“I’m hurting. I raised this kid through difficult circumstances and now someone kills him just like that. I don’t even know what happened. I was just told that the boys who stabbed him ran away,” said a sobbing Ncube.
Insp Moyo said Dungeni was assisting police with investigations.
“He is facing a murder charge. We are warning members of the public, especially young people who tend to be confrontational, to avoid violence when settling disputes,” said Insp Moyo. The Chronicle