Bhekithemba Mpalweni died on the scene, at Capello’s Bar on September 12 last year after he was stabbed with a knife by Mkhuseli Mamane following an apparent argument over Mamane’s manhood.
A friend of the deceased, Siyavuya Mangwana, told the court that an altercation between the two men broke out after he and the deceased went to greet Mamane, who was seated with some friends.
Mangwana said that he had been friends with Mpalweni for more than a year and that Mamane was an acquaintance.
“I went to the bar with Mpalweni and other friends. I saw some people I knew and went over to their table to greet them. The accused was amongst the group I went to greet. I did not notice the deceased following me when I walked over to the table and only saw him once I got there. I greeted the people by shaking their hands and I heard the deceased and the accused having an argument and swearing at each other. I intervened and stepped between the two of them."
“I then talked to Mamane and asked him to calm down. While I was talking to the accused, he held me by my collar. I asked him what I had done to him. He then brushed my shoulder and apologised,” said Mangwana.
He said he then walked away with Mpalweni and enquired about the argument.
“I did not hear properly what the deceased said about the cause of the argument. The only thing I heard him say was that the accused had made a remark towards him when he was pulling up the sleeves of his hoodie. The deceased never told me clearly what the remark was but I gathered that it had made him very angry.”
Mangwana said that he did not witness any further altercations between the two men.
“I saw someone I knew sleeping on one the couches inside the bar. I decided to take him home, so I took his car keys and put him inside his car. As I was about to drive off, he asked me how I was going to get back as I driven to the bar with Mpalweni. I headed back to the club to ask the deceased to follow me in his car so that I could get back with him."
“I saw the deceased in the parking lot and he came running towards me. He threw himself on me and I held onto him. I saw a wound to his neck and he tried to speak but could not. I laid him on the ground and saw his eyes changing. I stood up and left him as I did not understand what had just happened.”
According to a bouncer at the bar, Lekoma Dikgetsi, he witnessed Mamane chasing Mpalweni and stabbing him.
“I heard one of the employees telling me that there were people fighting. I saw the deceased running in between the parked cars and the accused was chasing him. Before the accused caught up with the deceased, the deceased threw a cellphone in his face. The accused caught the deceased and the next moment I saw the accused making stabbing movements and the deceased unsuccessfully trying to push him away,” said Dikgetsi.
The bouncer said that he then saw Mamane walking away.
“The accused afterwards closed the knife and put it in his pocket. He then drove off in his car,” said Dikgetsi.
Mamane’s legal representative, Advocate Sakkie Nel, argued that the accused disarmed the deceased of his knife and in return used it during the incident.
Nel also stated that Mamane said that he had left the knife at the crime scene.
This was disputed by the investigating officer, who said that there were no exhibits collected at the scene except for a cellphone that was handed to them by the bouncer.
The case continues on Thursday.
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