Murdered Mfundo honoured with the KES war cry

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi and Kamogelo Seekoei

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi and Kamogelo Seekoei

Mfundo Ntshangase's grandmother burst into tears when her grandson's schoolmates gave their school's war cry in tribute at his memorial service yesterday.

The family, friends, students and well-wishers gathered at King Edward VII School in Johannesburg to commemorate the life of the grade 11 schoolboy who was knifed to death last weekend.

As the war cry echoed across the famous school's grounds, Antonia Ntshangase, 66, cried out: "Where will I get another Mfundo. What did he do that he deserved to be killed?"

She said Ntshangase was everything to his family.

The 17-year-old from Meadowlands, Soweto, died at Olivedale Hospital after he was stabbed twice in the chest and once in the back at an after-party in Randburg early on Sunday morning.

Solemn faces filled the school hall for the service. Relatives could not contain their grief as Ntshangase's friends and schoolmates eulogised him.

His mother and grandmother sobbed uncontrollably as the school's piper performed a dedication to Ntshangase that was punctuated by stifled sobs and muffled cries.

Students from schools across the city attended the service with their parents.

Thabo Linda, Ntshangase's close friend, who was stabbed trying to break up the attack, told the service: "Chunky is a person I really needed to fight for and I did because I knew that he would do the same and put his life on the line for what had to be done for his friends and family."

Linda described his friend as a brave and inspiring person who should be remembered for his helpful spirit.

Kamohelo Morgan, another long-time friend, could not describe the loss.

"You had to know him to understand how much he meant to all of us," he said after the service.

Ntshangase's mother Nonhlanhla said she felt the world was crumbling on her shoulders, but she gave comfort to his schoolmates who gathered around her.

"I used to come here to drop and pick my son up, but today it is his memorial service. The reality of his death is now sinking in. It is really painful," she sobbed.

Principal Mike Fennell said the school was mourning the loss of one of its own: "We are sorrowful, but it is strange how his death has brought the boys together."

The entire school gathered in the central quad after the service. Students chanted the school anthem and then spontaneously broke into their war cry to honour Mfundo. The war cry is usually yelled out at sports gatherings.