Kimberley - A six-year-old Northern Cape boy died a hero after he tried to defend his mother who was being attacked by a man who wanted to rape her.
Kutlwano Garesape was brutally stabbed to death with a broken bottle.
His mother, Segomotso Garesape, 42, said she never imagined that walking her two sons, Kutlwano and his eight-year-old brother, Thabiso, to school would end in tragedy.
Garesape said they missed the bus on Friday morning which she her and her children usually took to the Tau Dirora School just outside Jan Kempdorp, where she is employed as a cook.
“We woke up at around 6am and got ready for school, which starts at 8am. We left the house and rushed to the bus stop. When we arrived at the stop, we saw the bus driving off.
“I decided to walk to school, which is about seven from town, with the children.”
The three took the main road out of town and when they got to a gravel turn-off, Garesape was relieved because she knew that they were now close to the school.
“I was holding Kutlwano by his left hand and Thabiso was walking right behind us. I was carrying both their schoolbags as it was quite a walk. Kutlwano told me that he was tired and I told him that we are not far from the school.”
A man suddenly appeared “out of nowhere”.
“I heard footsteps behind me and got a fright.” She said she saw a man walking behind them, but recognised him and did not think anything of it.
“Thabiso was now walking behind the man and he asked me for a R2 and I told him that I had no money.
According to Garesape the man then stopped. “He stood still and put his hands on his sides. He looked to the sky and started shaking his head. I found it odd and told the children to hurry.
“The next moment I felt someone grab me by the shoulder, pulling on the school bag. Thabiso screaming ‘watch out, he is going to stab you with a bottle’.”
Garesape dropped the school bag and grabbed the wrist of her attacker, preventing him from stabbing her.
“We wrestled, he tripped me and I fell to the ground. The man then pressed his knee on my chest and pinned me to the ground. He was choking me with my jersey.
“Kutlwano slapped the man across the face and told him to let go of me. He kept on screaming . . . ‘Let go of my mommy, it is my mommy’ while slapping and kicking the man.
“Thabiso was scared but Kutlwano kept on defending me. I could feel that the man was pulling up my skirt with his other hand and realised that wanted to rape me in front of my children.
The attacker slapped Kutlwano and he fell to the ground while Garesape then managed to push her attacker away.
“He stumbled backwards but came back for me and I then kicked at him.”
The attacker then turned his anger towards her son.
“I saw that he now wanted to attack my son. I frantically looked for a weapon to use against him but could not find any. The man grabbing Kutlwano and threw him into the air. He told Kutlwano that he was talking too much and again threw him into the air.
“I told Thabiso to run and call for help. When Kutlwano fell to the ground I could see that the man was strangling him. Then his arm went up and down and I realised that he was stabbing my son with the bottle.
“I heard my child crying out for me and I saw him trying to defend himself with his hands. The man just kept on stabbing him.
“I felt helpless and ran to the main road in an attempt to find help... all the cars just drove past as I cried and screamed that a man is killing my child.
“I ran back and could still hear Kutlwano calling me ... when I got closer I saw that he was now stabbing my son with a stick. I was screaming and felt so helpless.”
A group of men finally arrived to help Garesape but as they approached the attacker, he took her son towards the railway line and threw him onto the track before running off.
“I picked Kutlwano up and held him to my chest. He was full of blood and his hands were cut as he tried to defend himself. He told me to hold him and I sat down on the railway line and held him to my chest.
“He asked me to kiss him and I did. He then stretched out his hand to his brother.”
They tied a jersey around him to close up the wounds.
“When I held him to my chest again, his arms fell to the side and I knew that he was dead. I said a prayer and told God that my son died protecting me.”
The man responsible for the attack was arrested after police and members of the community searched for him.
Garesape's husband, Frank Jacobs, was angry.
“That man must bury my child … I did not bring children into this world to bury. Children are supposed to bury their parents, not the other way around,” he said.
Police spokesman, Captain Olebogeng Tawana, said the man will appear in court today.
“We are investigating a case of murder following the death of a six-year-old boy in Jan Kempdorp. A 32-year-old man has been arrested and charged with murder. He will appear in the Jan Kempdorp Magistrate's Court on Monday. The investigation continues,” Tawana said.
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