Double Tragedy: Boy (16) stabbed to death while defending friend, killer found dead in maize field


The last thing that 16-year-old Mduduzi Mnkandla asked from his father was a packet of jiggies and an hour later he was battling for his life after being stabbed with an okapi knife at a local borehole while standing up for his friend against a bully in Hope Fountain, Umguza District, slightly over a fortnight ago.

The young lad never got to eat the jiggies that his father, Mphiliso Mnkandla, bought for him after his life was cut short at the hands of a fellow villager old enough to be an older brother.

The suspect reportedly drank a harmful substance suspected to be cyanide — a deadly chemical commonly used in the extraction of gold by panners — after committing the heinous crime.

The late Mduduzi was allegedly stabbed by Ntandoyenkosi Ncube, a 19-year-old man known to the Mnkandla family as he grew up in Village Three in Hope Fountain, and the two families are practically neighbours who stay less than a kilometre apart.

Narrating how his son lost his life at the end of an okapi knife blade, Mphiliso said he last saw young Mduduzi in good spirits on the late afternoon of Saturday, 9 December before he headed to a nearby tuck shop to buy relish for supper.

“My son asked me to buy him a packet of jiggies and he even joked that I would probably forget to buy the snacks and I left to get some kapenta fish for my sister to prepare supper for the family. When I came back after an hour my mother was on the phone and someone was telling her that Mduduzi had been stabbed at the borehole where villagers fetch water.

“I rushed to the borehole and found my boy lying in a pool of blood, facing down and he was in a lot of pain. We tried to stop the bleeding by tying a piece of cloth around the waist where he had been stabbed in the stomach while other villagers started looking for a car to ferry him to the hospital.

“Mduduzi and his friends are said to have asked Ntandoyenkosi why he was cleaning his okapi knife in a bucket of water that belonged to another villager. Ntandoyenkosi punched the friend and when Mduduzi tried to intervene, he was stabbed with a knife. My son died trying to defend his friend.

“Ntandoyenkosi ran away after stabbing my son and by the time we got to the borehole, he was nowhere to be seen but at that time I was only worried about saving my boy,” said the grief-stricken father.

The badly injured lad was taken to the Bulawayo United Hospitals (UBH) where he was declared dead upon arrival.

A police report was made at a police post in Waterford suburb and a manhunt for the teenage killer Ntandoyenkosi began.

The suspect avoided arrest on Saturday night and the following day, although some villagers claimed that he had been spotted near his family homestead a couple of times.

His lifeless body was found in a field next to his homestead on Monday morning amid growing suspicion that he had consumed cyanide.

“He was a coward to commit suicide after killing my son for no reason. The family suspects he drank cyanide, which he had easy access to since he was involved in illegal gold mining here in Hope Fountain.

“What hurts me the most is that his family has not come to apologise to us for what their son did, we live close to each other and they still don’t have the courtesy to say that they are sorry for what happened,” he added.

The Ncube family declined to talk to the B-Metro news crew.

Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele confirmed that a case of murder and suicide had been reported to the police.

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