TWELVE-year-old Nqobile Sikweza was returning home from an evening Easter service with a friend when they ran into a service delivery protest.
The two friends tried to get past, but then shots rang out and everyone dashed for cover . . . except Nqobile.
That’s because the young boy was struck from behind by a bullet!
The incident happened over the Easter weekend at Sidakeni Village near Tabankulu, Eastern Cape.
The two boys were on their way home from Faith Mission Church when they came across a crowd fighting with police. Nqobile was wounded and collapsed near Cweraland Police Station.
Reports said people tried to help him but it was too late and he died on the way to hospital. Devastated family members said they were still struggling to deal with Nqobile’s sudden death and were worried about funeral preparations.
Grandfather Nkosayithethi Sikweza (66) said he was told to fetch the body from the mortuary today, but had no money. “I’m deeply hurt. I have nothing and I do not know how I’ll get money to pay the mortuary and for the funeral. Everyone in the family depends on my pension grant which won’t be enough. This has torn my heart apart deep inside.”
Uncle Sindisile Sikweza (36) said it was saddening to lose Nqobile at such a tender age, adding that what was even worse was that police were suspected.
He claimed Nqobile had a bullet wound and bullet casings were found at the scene. He said protesters had blocked the road over a lack of electricity. He appealed to government to help them with the funeral and the investigation.
Captain Mlungisi Matidane confirmed the incident and said cops were waiting for post mortem results to determine the cause of death. He said according to police statements Nqobile had a stab wound and could have been hurt by one of the protesters. He warned villagers not take part in illegal protests and to follow proper channels for their grievances.