Sweets errand ends in schoolboy's tragic death
Had Nkanyiso Ntumba not run an errand for his uncle at a Bergville shop‚ he may have been well clear of robbery which eventually led to his death.
He died alone in a bathroom.
The 13-year-old was killed as he cowered in the shop’s restroom‚ taking refuge after a gang of heavily-armed men stormed the store on Monday afternoon.
His uncle‚ Nhlanhla Ngubane‚ said that he’d sent the boy to the shop to buy sweets for the tuckshop that he ran.
“He was delayed after the cashier had given him the wrong change and when he eventually was given the correct amount of money he was caught in the middle of this thing‚” he said.
It was his bloody school uniform that lead investigators to his school principal‚ who identified the Grade 8 pupil and contacted Ngubane.
“I rushed to the scene and I asked if he was taken by the ambulance. But when I was told that was not the case it suddenly dawned on me that he had died‚” he added.
Ngubane said that he’d cared for Ntumba after both of his parents had died.
“What is very sad is that we could not even see him yesterday [Monday] and the police said they would call us. We were hoping to see him so that at least we can perform some traditional rituals but still we can’t see him‚” he said.
The teenager was one of three people killed in the bloody robbery‚ which played out in dramatic fashion on the town’s Bergville Road.
It is understood that the first casualty of the attack was a security guard who had been stationed nearby in an elevated tower. The robbers dragged his body from the post inside the store. A second security guard‚ who had been standing near the entrance‚ was shot in the face‚ and was critically wounded – he would later die in hospital.
The teen‚ who had taken refuge in the toilet‚ was the last to be killed as gunmen sprayed the inside of the room.
Two others who were wounded were rushed to hospital after the gunmen fled the scene.