By Danisa Masuku and Andile Tshuma
A FORM Three pupil at Nketa High School in Bulawayo died after he was allegedly hit on the head with a stone by his friend as they fought a rival teenage gang.
Michael Dube (15) from Nkulumane 11 died on Sunday morning, a day after he was struck with a stone on the head during an alleged turf war with unknown juveniles near Sunmarket Supermarket in the suburb.
The identity of the killer friend has been withheld as he is a minor.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the incident which happened on Saturday and said investigations were under way.
“I can confirm that we received a report of sudden death after some boys got involved in a fight in Nkulumane suburb.
The deceased and his friend were approached by two juveniles who are still at large and a fight ensued. During the scuffle, the unknown juveniles began to assault Michael’s friend and he got overpowered.
The friend, in an attempt to protect Michael, picked a stone and threw it at the attackers, who however dodged the missile.
“The stone hit Michael on the head and he sustained head injuries. He was admitted at Mpilo Central Hospital on Saturday and died on the following day,” said Chief Insp Simango.
When The Chronicle visited the deceased’s family at their Nkulumane home, relatives spoke of their disbelief and expressed shock at the incident.
Family spokesperson Ms Knowledge Sibanda said the family was saddened by the death of Michael, whom she described as a polite and obedient child.
“We just cannot fathom this. We never faced any problems with this child at home and it’s very painful for him to be taken away from us in such a manner. We do not know what transpired and we cannot point fingers, however, only God knows what happened and we hope that justice will be served,” she said.
Ms Sibanda, an aunt to the deceased, described Michael as an intelligent child who loved his books.
“Michael was doing Form 3 at Nketa High School. He was the second born in a family of three children. His siblings are sorrowful as they have lost a brother.
He was very intelligent at school and was dedicated to his studies. We never encountered any problems associated with discipline when it came to his behaviour,” said Ms Sibanda.
Michael was buried yesterday in a touching send-off at Luveve cemetery.
Meanwhile, police have warned teenagers against turf wars and gangsterism as schools opened for the third term yesterday.
Chief Inspector Simango warned parents to be wary of the company that their children keep.
“We urge parents to know their children and to know the kind of friends they play and spend time with. We are having a lot of cases where teenagers are involved in gangsterism and are injuring each other in turf wars.
As schools open, we urge school authorities and parents to work together to raise responsible and disciplined boys and girls. Some lives get wasted when teenagers die during their school days.
Once one strays, it is often difficult to recover a misspent youth,” said Chief Insp Simango. The Chronicle.