I didn't want to kiss him on the mouth so I wiped the sweat off his forehead and kissed him
A KISS from his mother was the final request of six-year-old Kutlwano Garesape, who was brutally stabbed to death, allegedly by a man who was attempting to rape his mom while he tried to defend her.
The trial of Tefelo Dikole, who is facing charges of murder and attempted rape, got under way in the Northern Cape High Court on Monday morning, when Kutlwano’s mother, Segomotso Garesape, told the court about the final moments of her young son’s life.
The 2016 murder of the popular Grade 1 pupil from Taudiadora School in Jan Kempdorp, who was given the nickname “John Cena” because of his fighting spirit, sent shock waves across the Northern Cape and prompted widespread calls for an end to violence against women and children.
Garesape testified that in August 2016 she was taking her two sons to school when she was approached by the accused, who asked her for R2.
After telling the man that she had no money, which was why she was walking to school with her sons, the suspect apparently stared at her for some time, shaking his head, before she continued on her way.
“I was holding the younger child (Kutlwano) by the hand, carrying the school bag, with my elder son, Thabiso (8), behind me,” Garesape recalled. “He (Dikole) kept walking with us and I was panicking. My heart was beating very fast.”
She said that when Kutlwano began to complain of feeling tired and needing to take a rest, she urged him to keep going. “I was just trying to engage conversations so we could continue walking,” she added.
“Suddenly, as we were walking, Thabiso screamed, ‘Mama, someone is trying to stab you with a bottle!’
“As I turned, the attacker grabbed me by the shoulder that was carrying the school bag and I was confronted with something shiny.”
A struggle apparently ensued between Garesape and the accused before Kutlwano tried to intervene.
“As we struggled, my child was there kicking him (the accused) against the legs, telling him to leave me,” testified the mother of the deceased.
“As he was kicking him, Thabiso was standing alone as he is not the type who likes fighting.
“He (Thabiso) was crying and begging us to stop. I thought the man was going to kill me.”
According to Garesape, she was enraged when the accused first slapped Kutlwano to the ground.
“As I was pulling at his (Dikole) hand, he (Dikole) was pulling at my skirt as if he was trying to undress me.
“I realised he was trying to rape me.
“I managed to push him and he fell to one side. I got up and went to stand next to Thabiso.”
The accused then allegedly charged at the mother and her eldest son, who retreated as he approached.
“Kutlwano was still an inexperienced child and kept standing there next to the man.
“We called for him to come but then the accused grabbed him by both shoulders and threw him up in the air. I thought he would just toss him up and catch him but he let him fall.
“When Kutlwano stood up, he again just picked him up, tossed him in the air and let him fall to the ground.
“I looked around but there were no stones or anything I could use to hit him.
“When I charged for him, he left the boy and charged for me. I ran away.”
Garesape described how she watched her child waving his arms and kicking his legs in an effort to ward off his attacker.
“When he stabbed the child the first time my son didn’t scream anymore.
“With the second blow I covered my face and said, ‘This man is killing my child’.”
Garesape said that help arrived and the accused fled the scene.
“After we put his intestines back in, Kutlwano looked at me and said, ‘Mama, kiss me’,” recalled Garesape. “I bent down and held him. He was bleeding from the nose and ears.
“I didn’t want to kiss him on the mouth so I wiped the sweat off his forehead and kissed him.
“I told Thabiso that Kutlwano is fine. Kutlwano looked at Thabiso and stretched out his hand. At that point I realised my son was about to lose his life.”
Court adjourned shortly after the cross-examination of the witness got under way on Monday afternoon.
The trial continues this morning.