Mkhuseli Mamane appeared in the Northern Cape High Court for the murder of Bekithemba Mpalweni which took place in front of Cappello’s last year. 
Picture: Soraya Crowie/ANA Pictures
Kimberley - An argument over manhood was apparently the motive that led to the fatal stabbing of a Kimberley man at a local bar in September last year.

This was stated in the Northern Cape High Court on Monday during the trial of 32-year-old Mkhuseli Mamane, who is charged with the murder of Bekithemba Mpalweni.

Mamane pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.

In his affidavit, Mamane admitted to stabbing Mpalweni with a knife but said that the incident happened after he was continuously provoked and threatened by the deceased.

According to the affidavit, Mamane said that he went to the bar, Capello’s, to spend time with his friends. He was seated in the VIP section with his friends and when he went to the counter to order something to drink Mpalweni pushed in front of him.

“I told him to join the queue and said that he did not have manners. We had a little argument but I went back to join my friends at their table,” said Mamane.

He added that the matter did not end there.

“Mpalweni came to the table where I was sitting and said to me in Isixhosa: “You boy, I am not afraid of you”. One of my friends asked him to leave.

“Later that evening I went to the bathroom and again met the deceased, who was in the bathroom. He said I was not a man, meaning I am not circumcised, and that I couldn’t use the toilet with men. In Xhosa culture it is very humiliating if someone makes such a remark to an adult male. The deceased then pushed me but other people inside the bathroom intervened and I left.”

According to Mamane, the deceased persisted in pestering him and followed him out of the bathroom and threatened to kill him.

He said he later went to the entrance of the bar to wait for his friends because he had arranged for them to drop him off at his girlfriend’s house.

According to his statement, while he waited for a friend, Mpalweni again came to him and said they must go outside.

This time, he said, he went, with the intention of having a fist fight.

Mamane said he hit Mpalweni with his fist on his upper body and he saw that the deceased was armed with a knife when he turned around.

Mamane said he grabbed the knife when Mpalweni tried to stab him and stabbed the deceased in order to get away from him.

He said he then drove away as he was afraid that friends of Mpalweni would arrive and attack him.

Security footage from the night, which was interpreted by the investigating officer, showed the interaction between the two men.

The footage outside showed Mamane stabbing Mpalweni, before walking away and driving off as shocked onlookers gathered around. The footage further shows Mpalweni falling down and being helped up by bar employees. A pool of blood is visible as the deceased is helped to his feet.

One of the employees of the bar, Rebaone Monnakgotla, told the court that Mamane was a regular at the bar. He said he did not witness any argument between the men when he saw Mamane sitting outside.

“The accused was seated outside by the pillar in the smoking area. He told me that he was waiting outside for a lady and I laughed. At that point, the deceased passed by and the accused got up and followed the deceased. He grabbed the deceased from behind and held him in a headlock. The next moment he stabbed the deceased and I called the bouncer to alert him that there were people fighting,” said Monnakgotla.

He added that he witnessed Mamane stabbing Mpalweni several times.

“I saw the accused stabbing the deceased about four times. The first stab wound I saw was to the head of the deceased, and was followed by a second one to the neck. The third and fourth stab wounds were to the stomach area. I could see that the deceased was trying to get away from the accused but was unsuccessful. I ran inside the bar and the bouncer intervened.”

He also told the court that contrary to the evidence of the accused, he did not see that the deceased was armed or that he had fought with the accused.

The case continues on Monday.

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