Fellow pupils among those questioned about Dale College boy's death

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Dale College Boy's College in Qonce remembered the life of Lisakhanya Lwana during a memorial service at the school on Monday.
Dale College Boy's College in Qonce remembered the life of Lisakhanya Lwana during a memorial service at the school on Monday.
Malibongwe Dayimani
  • Religious leaders have urged Dale College pupils to reveal the circumstances surrounding the death of Lisakhanya Lwana.
  • The school held a memorial service on Monday to pay tribute to Lwana. 
  • The police are investigating a culpable homicide following the incident.

Eastern Cape police have questioned 15 people, mostly schoolboys and girls, in connection with the death of 17-year-old Dale College rugby and cricket player Lisakhanya "Carter" Lwana. 

The group, including a 14-year-old, reportedly drank with Lwana at a house party in Bhisho just over a week ago, on Saturday 2 April, moments before he disappeared and was found dead along the roadside, the next day.  

After days of searching for him, his family discovered his body at the Bhisho Hospital's state mortuary on Tuesday.

READ Family cries foul after Dale College pupil found dead on side of the road

According to his father, Daluxolo Lwana, his rugby teammates, who were at the party with him, told him that they had dropped him off on the side of the R63 outside Qonce at 20:00 on Saturday night, so he could hitch a ride to his Mdingi village home.

Sources close to the investigation said fellow pupils told Bhisho police detective Sergeant Nolubabalo Stemela, during interrogation last Wednesday night, that Lwana had left the party around 02:00 on Sunday morning in a white Corsa bakkie. 

dale college
Dale College first cricket captain Ilitha Mapuma hands over a file to Lisakhanya's father Daluxolo Lwana.

He was in the company of three friends who had arrived with him at the party. 

The insider said the revellers told the police that Lwana had arrived drunk at the party just after midnight with his friends and Dale College teammates.  

It is understood that there was a small altercation between the host and Lwana, who apparently went to the party uninvited to join a friend.

Lwana was apparently slapped in the face and told to stop misbehaving.

The people who were taken for questioning told police that Lwana arrived in the company of other Dalians - all drank and a conflict broke out. He was slapped in the face but the standoff was stopped. 

According to the source, during the interrogation, the 15 being questioned told the detective that Lwana had left at 02:00 in the bakkie with his friends. 

"They said they later heard that their bakkie was spotted in town, stuck because it ran out of petrol, and that they did not have money. They told the investigating officer that they also learnt that Carter elected to walk to Mdingi Village," the source said. 

READ | Dale College likely to pull out of rugby festival after tragic week: 'We need to do what is best'

The distance from Qonce to Mdingi Village is about 8km and the busy R63 has no lights. 

Eastern Cape police had previously said the cause of Lwana's death was unknown, but that they suspected it was an "apparent" hit-and-run.

dale college
Lisakhanya Lwana's father Daluxolo (right) accepts signed and framed jerseys of his son from the school's first rugby coach.

They are investigating a case of culpable homicide.

The police said Lwana had sustained multiple injuries, and that circumstances surrounding his death were still unknown.

Lwana was part of the Dale College first rugby team, that had just returned from a 10-day camp.

The team had locked horns with Hudson Park at the Grens Rugby Festival and Marlow Agricultural High School at the Graeme College festival in consecutive weekends last month.

The boys returned to Qonce on Friday 1 April and decided to go out and celebrate, said Daluxolo Lwana. 

dale college
Dale Boys' College cricket and rugby players light candles at the memorial service of Lisakhanya Lwana.

Speaking to News24 after his son's memorial service at Dale College on Monday, Lwana, who is a senior correctional officer at St Albans Prison, said he was aware that Dale boys had told police that they had dropped his son at 02:00, despite having told him that they dropped him at 20:00.

"This is too painful. I want justice for my son. I also know there was a conflict at that party in Bhisho, but I don’t know how much injuries he sustained at that party. I was informed by police that he passed away in an apparent hit-and-run accident."

He added that he had reported his son missing on Sunday.

During the memorial service, clergymen urged the Dale boys who packed the hall to speak the truth about the incident, saying it "will set you free".

The religious leaders also urged school children to quit alcohol and drugs. 

Dale headmaster Dr Garth Shaw stopped his speech mid-flight as he left the podium to comfort Lwana's grieving mother, Sweetness, who broke down, crying inconsolably. 

He told mourners that "no parent should bury their child".

READ | Tragedy strikes Dale College again as 1st team rugby player dies after sustaining head injury in match

The police have remained tight-lipped about the case.

Warrant Officer Majola Nkohli failed to respond to questions about the questioning of pupils.

  

All those interrogated by police were released into the care of their parents on the same night they were questioned at Bhisho police station. 

East London lawyer Aphiwe Makuluma confirmed to News24 that of the 15 people detained by police on Wednesday night, two were his clients - aged 14 and 18 - and were the hosts of the party.  

He said the information News24 had obtained from police sources, corroborated the version of his clients.



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