Murdered teens 'troublemakers'
THE families of the two teenagers assaulted and killed by a group of local residents admitted their children were known troublemakers, but said they did not deserve to die.
Cousins Lukhanyo Mazakaza and Bongani Nobecu, both 19, were beaten to death after being cornered in the bush at Leaches Bay in East London by more than 30 people.
Together with a third suspect who got away, the two were accused of breaking into the shack of a local resident and robbing it.
The deceased are from the Orange Grove informal settlement.
Their families have been traumatised by the news of their children's deaths and by the subsequent identification of their bodies.
East London police had not formally told the families of the teenagers' deaths.
Mazakaza's aunt Florence Baqo said: "The people who assaulted him dislocated his jaws. He died a very painful death."
She said her nephew had had dealings in the past with the police.
"As a family we know that Lukhanyo was a troublemaker because people used to knock on our doors and tell us that he had robbed them of their cellphones and wallets," she said.
She said that, as the aunt and a leader of the family, she used to counsel the deceased about the dangers of crime.
"I don't know how many times I warned him to stop doing bad things on the streets," she said, adding that once at home her nephew was "a good boy".
The family had fed the boy, dressed him and taken him to school but he just wanted to lead his own life, Baqo said.
She said his behaviour had deteriorated after both his parents died last year.
His grandmother Nothembile Mazakaza, 70, said she did not agree with what the community of Leaches Bay had done to her grandson.
"They should just have handed him over to police rather than killing him," she said.
Nobecu's sister said that the teenager had been taken to various social workers in the past for a talk on crime.
"He was raised by a single parent and did not have a father figure," she said.
"In 2010 he began smoking and he dropped out of school."
Police had picked Nobecu up for various offences but he was never convicted by the courts, she said.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mtati Tana said police had not informed the affected families of their children's deaths because they could not locate the families.
"If you know that your member of the family has died and police can't find you, you go to them," he said, adding that investigations into the youths' death were still continuing.
"No member of the Leaches Bay community had been arrested yet, he said.