‘I still don’t have closure’

2018-11-26 12:40
Jake Smith and his mom Anne.

Jake Smith and his mom Anne.

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July 6, 2014 will forever be etched in her memory.

It was the day she was dealt a blow that catapulted her into another realm, where she continues to search for answers and grapple for closure.

It was the day Anne Smith learnt that her only child, Jake “Khumalo Boi” Smith (23), was no more.

The motorsport and biking enthusiast was stabbed to death at the Armitage Road KFC drive-through after an alleged altercation with a former Maritzburg United footballer and his driver, S’boniso Edward Dlamini, who was the only person subsequently charged with Smith’s murder.

Dlamini stood trial and recently walked out of the courtroom a free man after being acquitted by the court.

The full reasons for his acquittal could not be ascertained by Weekend Witness since the record of the case is unavailable.

Anne, who prefers to be referred to as “Jake’s mom”, found out the unsettling news when she received a “photograph” on her phone from a friend. Oblivious to what it was, she zoomed in and confusion reigned.

In a nutshell, it read that Dlamini’s case was finalised with him being acquitted. “It’s ridiculous ... I don’t know what’s going on … after four years I still don’t have closure,” she exclaimed.

Beneath a tough “biker” exterior, lies a broken woman, who is struggling to make sense of what has transpired since the former BMX racing champion’s death. “He was going to look after me. He used to phone me everyday to ask if I needed anything … [He would say] I love you.

“I will do anything for you. I am going to look after you,” remembers Jake’s mother, her voice cracking to give way to tears.

She has no qualms about admitting that she was a tough mother who expected only the best out of her son. Having served as a sergeant major in the army, she instilled discipline in him. Smith, a former Carter High School pupil, had been captain of the rugby, hockey and soccer teams.

He was a salesperson at Steel and Pipe Trading.

Her friend Joe van Rooyen, who was present during the interview, said: “Jake was a wonderful, polite, caring young man who did all he could to help others.”

This is how the name “Khumalo Boi” originated, chipped in his mom enthusiastically.

She said her multilingual son — who spoke Xhosa, Zulu and Sesotho — used to go “drifting” and once came across a young boy who became ecstatic when he heard the engine roar. His surname was Khumalo. The engine-roaring “spinner” stopped the car and approached the boy’s dad to ask permission to take the child for a drive. The father refused saying the boy had no legs and that it would not be safe.

Jake’s mom added her son, who was dedicated to inspiring township youth, then held the boy around his waist, lifted him up and down, made a revving sound and explained “that’s how it felt”.

“He told the child he will always ride with him. That’s where the name Khumalo Boi comes from,” she said.

Jake’s mom lights up, her eyes sparkle when she chats about her son and the hardships they endured with her being a single parent. The spiritual woman said she misses him terribly and she hurts all the time, “everywhere she goes”.

 

Online outrage

Facebookers slammed the justice system and expressed shock and outrage when they found out that the man who had been charged with the murder was acquitted.

Yashika Sukhaye posted: “Shocking...We Live In SA, justice system is pathetic”.

Tom Wills echoed similar sentiments saying: “Shocking, no justice in SA!!”

Kim Fouche Ireland How said: “Is this possible. It was a very straight forward case. We have to do something”.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder case
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