Cape Town - A grade 6 pupil has died after he was beaten with sticks and sjamboks during an alleged mob attack in Khayelitsha after he was accused of stealing a cellphone.
Jason “Athi” Kamisi, 17, was attacked by a group of men and women on Sunday and died later that day in hospital. Jason was accused of breaking into a house and stealing a cellphone and other goods.
The incident allegedly happened metres from his home in Site C.
Jason attended Ncotsheni Primary in Khayelitsha.
On Wednesday, his family told the Cape Times of how they had been told how Jason had been assaulted with sticks and sjamboks.
“It was at about 3pm when a group of about five young men came here to tell us that Athi was being beaten up not far from here. They did not tell us what he had done. We went to the scene and when we arrived there, he (had been) placed in a closed rubbish bin,” Jason’s cousin, Buyiswa Jada, said on Wednesday.
“There was no one around there. We were told by people who had witnessed the attack that he was beaten up for stealing a cellphone – they did not find a cellphone in his possession.”
The police arrived and took the badly beaten pupil to hospital.
When Jada described how Jason’s body had been found, his mother, Selina, broke down. She covered her face with a piece of cloth, then walked out of the room.
“He was stripped naked. He had two huge wounds on his face and there was blood all over him. His body was covered with scars caused by a sjambok,” said Jada.
Jada said she believed her cousin had been assaulted by drunk people in a house.
“I think they locked him in a house where they tortured him. They then took him outside where other people joined in and attacked him. He was then placed in a rubbish bin. Three women who live not far from here have been arrested,” she said.
“We know he had challenges as a teenager, but that did not mean he had to be killed. He would leave the house wearing his uniform, but would not go to school.”
Jason’s grandmother, Juliet Peterson, said the investigating officer called them on Monday morning. “He said we needed to go to the hospital. We arrived and were informed that Athi had passed away.”
She said they were informed by the doctors that Jason had suffered severe head injuries.
Jason’s mother spoke of how her son’s dreams of becoming a soldier had been “cut short”.
“… you at least feel better when you have tried to save your children, but in this instance, we were not able to save him,” she said, adding that the problem with the cellphone could have been resolved had the attackers approached them first before taking the law into their own hands.
Jada said they didn’t know how they would pay for Jason’s funeral because only one member of the family had a job.
The police had not responded to a Cape Times query at deadline.