Cape Town - A deaf teenager was chased by a gang of boys who beat and stabbed him to death with pangas.
Sibusiso Mbaliswano, 18, who communicated through sign language and lip reading, was allegedly attacked by a gang known as the Vitos in New Crossroads, Gugulethu, on Saturday night.
Sibusiso’s family claimed he had no affiliations with any gang, but had mingled with everyone in the area.
The Vitos from Section Five in New Crossroads are the gang rivals of the Ballads from Section Four, where Sibusiso lived.
“He was not a gangster, but children in the area loved hanging out with him because he was fun and bubbly, he never let his disability get in the way,” his mother, Ntomboxolo Mbaliswano, said.
Police spokesman FC van Wyk confirmed that the boy had been chased by a group of young men in Yanta Street and had sustained a stab wound to the chest.
His aunt, Babalwa Mbaliswano, was first to arrive at the scene: “My friend called and told me to rush to Koornhof Street because Sibusiso had been stabbed. When I got there he was still breathing.”
He died an hour later at KTC Hospital in Gugulethu.
His mother, who couldn’t hold back her tears, said she couldn’t understand why her son had been killed.
“The boys who stabbed him knew him very well. One of them grew up with him.”
She said gangsters had occasionally targeted her son but had never before harmed him because he was not involved in a gang.
Sibusiso had just graduated from Noluthando School for the Deaf in Khayelitsha and had been due to start working next year as a bricklayer for a company in Woodstock.
“He grew up in difficult circumstances. Seeing him mature and not take note of his disability was a relief. He was jokey and everyone in the community loved him,” his mother said.
Neighbours shared her pain.
“He liked helping the mechanic nearby fix cars, he was a good child,” said Filda Mabi.
Ntomboxolo Mbaliswano said she would never make peace with her son’s death.
“The children who killed him are animals; they deserve to rot in jail. After butchering my son they had a nerve to blast windows in the neighbourhood, they want our kids to retaliate so that there can be war.”
She said the parents of those who had killed her son had not attempted to make contact to sympathise.
Police said no arrests had been made.