Friends’ quarrel ends in tragedy

2016-02-03 06:00

AN argument among three friends led to one of these men’s death, while another one was admitted to the intensive care unit. The third man now potentially faces a prison sentence for murder.

The mothers of the two surviving friends keep reliving the incident, which took place on Friday afternoon (29/01).

Kehilwe Hopton, the mother of Lebogang, who was admitted to the Kimberley Hospital and had to undergo an emergency operation after some of his intestines had been damaged due to a stab wound, regrets ever pushing the three friends to move away and not sit in front of her house while drinking beers.

She said she had found the three friends, Lebogang Hopton (22), Mlungisi Memane (22) and Eugen Mmokwa (22), drinking in front of her house and just passed by them without greeting, due to her anger.

“I just passed by them without greeting when I entered the house, because I always remind him (Lebogang) not to bring alcohol near the house out of respect,” said Kehilwe.

“I feel it is inappropriate, as I explained to him, because I had buried my mother and my twin sister on the same day in January in this home.”

She said she had later heard her son tell his friend that they had to move away from the yard, as his mother was clearly upset.

They moved to sit somewhere else and ended up fighting.

She said she had still been sulking when she had heard people screaming, but she did not bother to go and look.

She only stood up to enquire when she heard the noise getting intense and her son’s name being called. She then found he had been stabbed by his friend.

According to Maj. Dimakatso Mooi, it was alleged that the suspect and the victims had had an argument regarding food.

Among the witnesses was the suspect’s shocked mother, Nonzi Memane, who revealed how she had tried to stop her adamant son from committing the crimes.

All she could say was that she was sorry for what her son had put her neighbours, the other families, through.

“When I heard the noise and realised that they were throwing beer bottles at one another, I tried to intervene, but he was unstoppable,” Nonzi said.

“He ran into the house to fetch a knife, but I took it from him when he went outside. I remember rushing into the house to hide the knives and realised there was one knife missing.

“I called the police.

“I rushed outside and found that he had stabbed Lebogang and was chasing Lenny (Mmokwa) with the knife. I could not do anything to save him as everything happened too fast. Lenny fell and that is when he stabbed him.”

The police revealed that Mmokwa had been stabbed in the back and in his chest. He was declared dead on the scene.

Hopton was stabbed in his stomach and chest.

Nonzi felt that the fact that they had apologised to the bereaved family was not enough.

“Mlungisi cried profusely when he realised what he had done, just like his other friend, Lebogang, when he was collected by the ambulance.

“Lenny was such a quiet and humble boy, he really did not deserve to lose his life in that manner.”

Meanwhile, Lebogang had been moved to the intensive care unit and remains in hospital for further treatment.

Mlungisi briefly appeared in the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court on Monday (01/02). He remains in custody until his bail appearance on 16 February.

Everyone described the deceased as a quiet person who would never fight back, even when he was pushed.

The Mmokwa family refused an interview.

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