Parents’ hearts broken after son stabbed to death

2014-12-02 00:00

WHEN Thobani Mkhize (18) left home on Friday morning, he did not tell his parents he was going to the Pens Down Festival.

His father, Zaba Hlengwa (38), thought he was going to work.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, Hlengwa received devastating news that his only son had been stabbed to death during what is thought to have been a brawl at the party.

Richards Bay police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of three matric pupils, one of whom was Mkhize, who stabbed one another to death at 3 am on Saturday.

The trio were among hundreds of ­pupils from schools in the area who ­attended the post-exam party at ­Alkantstrand Beach in Richards Bay.

Yesterday, Education Department head Nkosinathi Sishi visited the three bereaved families.

Mkhize was a matric pupil at Hluma High School in Nseleni, Ntuthuko Bongumusa Mathenjwa (23) attended Langalibomvu High School in Sokhulu Reserve and Siphelele Philani Gumede (18) attended Ntongande High School in Nzalabantu.

Mkhize’s father said he was ­devastated.

“We have accepted what happened. We had great expectations because he was a good pupil and he was my only son,” said Hlengwa, who has three daughters.

He said he was surprised to hear that his son was involved in a brawl.

“He was very quiet, very peaceful and not violent at all; this is not like him,” he said.

The family said they are still not sure what really happened.

“We were told that they were standing with a friend and they were bumped by these other boys. They confronted them and then the boys swore at them and a fight broke out.

“Our hearts are broken,” said ­Hlengwa.

Mkhize’s principal, Eric Zulu, broke the news to the school during assembly yesterday morning.

“The children are traumatised; some were crying,” said Zulu.

He praised Mkhize’s work ethic and said he would have had a bright future.

“He had great potential, he was doing very well. I used his books to show the HOD when he came to the school because he had done well throughout the year,” said Zulu.

The principal distanced himself from the Pens Down Festival.

“I think the problem is that there were too many children and there were no police to monitor them,” said Zulu.

Mkhize will be buried on Saturday.

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