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Like many 15-year-old boys, Sibusiso Titimani loved watching movies and playing soccer. He particularly liked listening to hip-hop music.
He was gentle, the kind of boy who wouldn’t talk back when his mother Thandiwe reprimanded him. But on Saturday afternoon his life was cut short.
He was brutally stabbed in his head and left for dead by three men who attacked him and his 18-year-old friend.
Sitting on a thin mattress covered by a blue sheet on the floor of her shack at the Primrose informal settlement on Thursday, Sibusiso’s mother said: “It was around 3.15pm and I had boiled water on the stove to wash. The soccer game was on the radio.
“Just as I was about to wash my feet, a boy came to my door. He shouted: ‘mama ka Sibusiso! uyashaywa uSibusiso ngamabhunu’ (Sibusiso is being beaten up by the boers).”
Sibusiso had been stabbed in an open field about 500m from his shack. “I ran out screaming and crying… His head was on top of a rock, he was still alive. I pulled him to sit up straight. He couldn’t. He would open his eyes and then close them.”
An ambulance came to the scene at 5.10pm and took Sibusiso to Boksburg Hospital. “They fought for his life at the hospital, they really did. I watched as doctors operated on him. They told me they needed to transfer him to Joburg General (Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital). When I left the hospital at 10pm, he was still alive,” Titimani said.
Just before midnight, Titimani received a call that her son hadn’t made it through the night.
When she spoke to Sibusiso’s friend Thato, who had been with him during the attack, he told her that the three men who had attacked them were wearing balaclavas and military uniforms.
“From what I hear, it wasn’t the first time someone was stabbed there, and it is by white men who say they are taking revenge for Eugene Terre’Blanche,” she added.
Warrant officer William Masondo from the Primrose police station said: “There have been two cases that have been opened of incidents that happened in that field.”
No arrests had been made.
On Thursday, a memorial service was held at Denver Primary, Sibusiso’s school.