Form 3 pupil dies in gang violence
By Nqobile Tshili
A form three pupil at Founders High School in Bulawayo died during suspected teenage gang violence after an alcohol binge and his assailants dumped his body in a bushy area near Nketa High School in Nketa 8 suburb.
The body of Prichard Ndlovu (16) from Bulawayo’s Nkulumane suburb was discovered on Tuesday afternoon by a caretaker at Nketa High School who notified the police.
Police then informed the boy’s relatives who had already filed a missing persons report when he did not return home on Saturday.
The boy’s body was found a walking distance from his home.
The Chronicle yesterday visited Prichard’s family home and gathered that he lived with his younger siblings as their parents are based in South Africa.
Prichard’s aunt Ms Maenni Ndlovu said he could have been stabbed and dumped by a rival teenage gang.
Ms Ndlovu, who lives in another suburb said she was shocked to learn from Prichard’s father who contacted her on Monday from the neighbouring country saying his son was missing and had last been seen being pursued by a gang.
Ms Ndlovu said it appears there were skirmishes involving three gangs.
“What I’ve been told is that he left on Saturday at about 10AM with his friend (name supplied). They are said to have ended up at a Nketa 6 Sports Bar where they spent the whole day drinking beer.
“We’re told that they drank up to 9PM leading to gang-related scuffles. It seems at the same bar there was a gang from Nketa 8 suburb, another from Nketa 9 and Prichard and his friends,” said Ms Ndlovu.
“As the skirmishes ensured Prichard’s friends managed to escape to their homes, but he never returned home. So when we asked his friends about his whereabouts on the following day, they just told us that they last saw him as they were running away from the other gang.”
The Chronicle could not get a comment from proprietors of the sports bar that is alleged to be selling beer to the under-aged.
However, Ms Ndlovu said on Monday they reported that Prichard was missing to the police.
Police officers, Ms Ndlovu said, told them to leave their particulars so that they would get in touch with them if he was found.
“The police officers contacted us on Tuesday afternoon inviting us to come and identify a body that had been found just outside Nketa High School. When we arrived at the scene we were able to identify him although his body was already decomposing. There were visible stab wounds in his chest which makes us assume that he was stabbed before his body was ditched,” said Ms Ndlovu.
She said some boys were picked up for questioning by the police and they could be of the same age with Prichard.
A neighbour Mr Nkosana Sibanda blamed the proprietors of the sports bar for allowing children into their premises.
“It has become common knowledge that the sports bar has become a base where these under aged youths spend their time drinking. Why can’t council revoke licences for such places?
“They turn a blind eye on the ages of those coming into the bar and only focus on the money. It’s not the first time we have gangs fighting from that same bar, the only difference is that this case has turned fatal,” said Mr Sibanda.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango said investigations were underway.
“Investigations are ongoing and we are treating the case as murder.
“We also appeal to members of the public who might have information that might aid our investigations to come forward,” said Chief Insp Simango. The Chronicle