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Friend recalls fateful night and last moments

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Everyone was crying, “It was very sad. Me, as his best friend, I was supposed to help him. I didn’t. It kills me and hurts me.”

Tau Motaung. Picture: Soraya Crowie

TAU MOTAUNG was the last person to see his friend Tshepiso Thompson alive in the early hours of March 31.

The boys were attacked on their way home from a party in Hulana Street, Galeshewe, and Tshepiso was fatally stabbed.

Motaung recalls his last moments with his friend on that fateful night.

“On that night Tshepiso came to me the afternoon. I was tired. I had come home from church. He made me take a bath and get dressed to go out.”

Motaung says the plan was for Thompson to sleep over at his house. They left the house to a party in Hulana Street.

“When we got there, we had fun. We both talked to girls. It was a good night. A fun night. There is nothing I would change about the night.”

Motaung said that he decided that it was time to go home when he saw Thompson sleeping. “It wasn’t fair of me to see him sleeping and I was having fun.”

He then went to wake Thompson and said it was time to go home.

“On our way home it was fun and we laughed together. We were making jokes. I told him that I knew he would fall asleep, and he just laughed at me.”

A little further on, on their way home, Motaung said they both became silent and started walking as quickly as possible and turned left into a passage.

“As we walked further and turned another corner, we saw this massive group of boys. We were too close to turn back.”

Motaung said that he told Thompson that they were not going to fight these boys. “If they want to take something from us, we are going to let them have it.”

That was the plan, Motaung said. But the boys kept coming closer and closer. “They asked what do we have for them? We told them we have nothing. They searched us and they found nothing.”

He added that a second group started approaching and the boys knew it wasn’t going to end very well.

“They then just started beating us for no reason at all. One picked me up and threw me to the ground and started kicking me. At that time I couldn’t bear the pain any more and told them to take my shoes and my clothes. I told them to take whatever they wanted and to just leave me alone.”

Motaung said one of the boys took off his shoes, another wanted to take off his jacket but he had zipped it and the boy found it difficult to take it off.

At that time, Motaung said, he couldn’t see Thompson or hear his voice.

Motaung said the group of boys left shortly after taking his shoes. When he got up he saw Thompson getting up as well. Motaung then ran to him. “We started walking he told me that he had been stabbed. I told him to relax and that we were not far from home.”

After a time, Motaung said Thompson told him that he was getting weak. “I told him to relax it wasn’t far to go. He then fell and hit his head hard on the road. I picked him up and we walked for a bit. Then he fell again and I knew I had to do something. I took off his T-shirt and put pressure on the wound.”

Motaung said Thompson was in excruciating pain and they kept on shouting out for help, but nobody came out.

He added that they saw a car going by and he tried to stop it. But it just carried on driving. The second time he saw a car, it stopped.

“I asked the cab driver for help but he indicated he couldn’t help as he had to go and pick someone up. I told him I would pay him the same fare as the other person was going to pay, even though I didn’t have the money right now. But he refused and left.”

Motaung said that he realised then that Thompson did not stay far from where they were at the time and he decided to run and ask his family for help.

When he got to the house, the gate was locked and he had to jump over the fence. He then knocked on Thompson’s granny’s window. “I told her who I was and why I was there. She said she didn’t have airtime to call for help.”

Motaung said he then ran to his house and told his mother the story. “She had a lot of questions. While she was questioning me, Thompson’s mother came. I tried to run out again, but my mother held me back.”

He managed to get away from his mother and jumped into Thompson’s mother’s car telling her that he knows where her son is.

At that stage, Motaung said, Thompson was still alive. Thompson’s mother had a word with him before running off looking for the ambulance. According to Motaung, she then called the ambulance. “When they finally arrived at the scene, Tshepiso, was no more.”

Everyone was crying. “It was very sad. Me, as his best friend, I was supposed to help him. I didn’t. It kills me and hurts me.”

Motaung is now living in fear of the group that was released. “What if they are going to come and finish me off? I’m scared. What if they are not done with me? What if they were only starting? They live in my area. They know me and I know them. I just hope Tshepiso gets justice.