Hammer-wielding man killed in fast food brawl

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Jonathan Erasmus, The Witness

Durban - A fight over queue jumping at a Hillcrest fast food outlet turned into a violent brawl leaving one man dead.

The deadly fast food fight is believed to be the result of a verbal altercation over a position in the queue by two men in the popular Fishaways takeaway in Links Hill shopping mall, Waterfall, on Tuesday.

Mthokozisi Bekwa, 30, who was allegedly swinging a hammer at another man, was killed when he was stabbed once under the left arm.

A 55-year-old man has been arrested and charged with his murder.


The entire incident was captured on the mall’s CCTV cameras.

Waterfall Crimewatch chairperson Steven King - who has watched the footage - said ironically neither Bekwa nor the murder suspect were involved in the initial altercation.

“An off-duty security guard and another man were having words with each other outside the store. [Bekwa] then approached the man arguing with the off-duty guard. This man then pushed [Bekwa] away and continued arguing with the off-duty guard,” said King.

He said while Bekwa walked away, the man and the off-duty guard got into a fist fight. The video then apparently shows Bekwa going to his car and returning with a hammer. He then allegedly strikes the man on the back of the head.

“When he attempted to take another swing, an elderly male came into the frame and stabbed him underneath the arm. [Bekwa] didn’t finish his hammer swing. Instead he stood still for a moment and then just dropped to the ground.”

Medics confirmed that Bekwa died on the scene while the man who was hit on the head with the hammer was treated at a local private clinic.

Neither of the original brawlers has been charged.

It is unclear whether any of the men knew each other prior to the incident.

Queue dispute

A Fishaways employee, who asked not to be named, said the two men initially had words inside the eatery.

“It appears there was a dispute over what position each person occupied in the queue. After a few words, they decided to take the matter outside of the store. The fight lasted between five and 10 minutes.”

The employee said when people realised a man had been stabbed, the argument ended quickly.

Duncan Roderick, a witness who caught the tail-end of the dispute, said no one knew what to do.

“The centre security guards did not react, probably because [Bekwa] was swinging a hammer around. The man hit with the hammer had blood on the back of his head and running down his neck,” said Roderick.

Hillcrest SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant Bongumusa Manqele said the murder suspect initially “left the scene” but was later arrested at his home in Crestholme, Hillcrest.

“He is to appear in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court soon,” Manqele said.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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