Senior Court Reporter
ONE of the four teenagers from Makokoba suburb, who was part of a gang of four that allegedly fatally stabbed a man from their neighbourhood with a flick knife, said he acted in self defence to save his life.The seventeen year old (name withheld for he is under 18) who is the youngest of the four teenagers, yesterday took to the witness stand and argued that he attacked Bruce Mashoko, 18, because Mashoko intended to stab him.
“I was confronted by Bruce and his friend Bhekinkosi Sibanda and they started shouting at me accusing me of being part of a gang from Burombo Hostel that was in the habit of harassing them. Bruce then grabbed me and I managed to free myself and flee, but he caught up with me,” said the boy.
He told the court that he acted in self defence after Bruce had pulled out a shiny object which resembled a knife.
“I saw Bruce holding a shiny object which looked like a knife and I panicked as I thought that my life was in danger, which is why I then stabbed him. I assumed the injury was not serious and went home to sleep,” said the teenager under cross-examination.
The other three teenagers, Floyd Sibanda 18, Leveson Mlotshwa, 18, and Sandile Makhalima,18, are expected to lead their evidences today.
The four teenagers appeared before Justice Martin Makonese at the Bulawayo High Court facing a murder charge in connection with Bruce’s death in November last year.
Prosecuting, Khumbulani Ndlovu said on November 8 last year shortly after 11PM, Bruce and his friend Bhekinkosi Sibanda were on their way home from a house in their neighbourhood where they had been watching a soccer match on television.
The court heard that as they were approaching from a distance, they were spotted by the four teenagers. When Bruce and Bhekinkosi got closer, one of members of the gang, Leveson advanced towards them and demanded cigarettes.
Bruce and Bhekinkosi tried to ignore Leveson but his accomplices Sandile, Floyd and Shelton stood in the two teenagers’ way and blocked them from proceeding with their journey. The group then grabbed Bruce but Bhekinkosi managed to escape leaving his friend at the mercy of the gang.
The court heard that one of the four teenagers stabbed Bruce with a knife on the left side of the chest and he collapsed. He was rushed to Mater Dei Hospital where he died on admission.
Bhekinkosi in his testimony said he alerted neighbours and led police to the teenagers’ respective houses where they were arrested.
He told the court that the gang had on two occasions tried to attack them over a girl whose brother was part of the group.
Shelton is being represented by Leslie Sibanda while Doreen Phulu is Floyd’s lawyer.
Emmanuel Mlalazi is representing Leveson while Sandile’s defence counsel is Nkosilathi Mlala
The trial continues today.