N3 stabbing trauma for family

2014-08-22 00:00

THE murder of a student on the N3 left the Walker family traumatised after they witnessed the incident.

Nkululeko Mdlalose (21), a University of KwaZulu-Natal student from Mondlo in Vryheid, was stabbed twice in his chest while waiting for a lift in a hitchhike spot on the Church Street N3 off ramp last week Friday.

At the time of the incident, Erica Walker was en route to school with her four children in the car.

“Just before joining the main stream of traffic on the highway, as I glanced to my left, I saw what I thought at the time was a struggle between three men,” she said.

She exclaimed, “Oh look, they’re fighting,” to her children aged between six and 12 years old.

“As we passed, I will never forget the image that remains with me, that the person on the ground had a lovely bright smart shirt on; the other two holding him down were dressed in tracksuit and dark T-shirts,” said Walker.

She said it was only as her son glanced back that he saw a knife being held by the one attacker and shouted out to her. She pulled over immediately but was by then at least 40 to 50 metres away and could do nothing but blast her hooter. “For what, I don’t know.”

“A hitchhiker standing close by thought I was about to give him a lift. With hysterical children and a total feeling of hopelessness I had to drive off for fear of also being hit by another vehicle,” she said.

She immediately dialled 10111 to report the incident and subsequently pulled up at the garage at the next off ramp and notified an ambulance and traffic police who happened to be there.

“It was only on my return home that I saw all the rescue vehicles at the scene, and we read with horror on Saturday [in the Weekend Witness] that the attack had been on a young student who had died at the scene,” she said.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said no arrests have been made at this stage. Police were unable to provide the family’s contact details.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

Walker describes the pain associated with this horrific experience.

She says they have run through the scene again and again wondering how they could have acted differently. “Perhaps the only thing that could have changed would have been if we had seen this attack on approach.”

She said for the family of this victim and all those who suffer the same, “my heart goes out to you”.

Walker notified the police that this was not the first time. “My son had seen these two chasing someone a week previously in the same vicinity. Once more, we simply thought it was a dispute between ‘friends’ or drinking buddies,” she said.

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