Murdered teens laid to rest

Sgt Nonkosi Mapukata flanked by former classmates of Yanga Soga from Isilimela Comprehensive High School. PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE
Sgt Nonkosi Mapukata flanked by former classmates of Yanga Soga from Isilimela Comprehensive High School. PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

Three Langa teenagers who were stabbed to death by their peers during a “street bash party” were laid to rest last week.

Phumelele Renene (17) was buried in Langa on Thursday 15 October, with Hlomla Njokweni (17) and Yanga Soga (18) laid to rest on Saturday 17 October at Idutywa and Centane (in the Eastern Cape) respectively.

It is alleged the trio was having a street party at Lusaseni Street, Langa, on Saturday 3 October until the early hours of Sunday. A fight allegedly broke out on their way home leading to their demise.

Langa station commander Col Diedre Engelbercht said the motive remained a mystery. “Two suspects aged 17 and 19 were arrested and cases of murders were opened,” said Engelbercht.

However, she said according to reports the three were returning from Camps Bay beach. “They came here (New Flats) and had a street bash till early morning on Sunday. The incident happened after a street party on their way home,” stated Engelbercht.

She described Langa as a busy area, particularly over the weekends.

She attributed the weekend activities to the illegal selling of alcohol. “The illegal shebeens that are operating on weekends are contributing to the escalating of crime in the area. Part of our strategy is to ensure that we close all the illegal premises that are selling alcohol on weekends,” Engelbercht said.

Langa Community Policing Forum (CPF) chair Zanele Mbizela described the incident as “unfortunate and devastating”.

She said it was not the first time a similar incident happened in Langa this year.

“A similar incident happened in July but fortunately no one died. We are appealing to the parents to look after their children,” said Mbizela, adding that the majority of children who took part in the street bash were under the age of 20. She urged the community to work with the police to fight crime.

Hlomla’s father, Benathi Ngadlela, said they are distraught. “Hlomla asked us for money on Saturday morning saying he is going to the beach with his friends. We gave him the money but he didn’t come back till we went to sleep. At about four in the morning on Sunday 4 October we were woken up by Hlomla’s girlfriend,” said Ngadlela. He said she told the family that Hlomla fell down. He said they thought he was drunk. He said they woke up and rushed to the scene. “As we approached the scene we saw other boys carrying him. All along I thought he was drunk. When we got closer we saw blood on his chest. Immediately we stopped a car that was passing and asked the driver to take us to the clinic. But, unfortunately, he died on the way,” said a distraught father.

Ngadlela said he was still tormented by his son’s death.

Renene’s uncle Victor Vuso thanked the community for the support. “We really appreciate the overwhelming support we received from the community,” said Vuso.

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