A Young Man Was Shot Dead On My Street CornerBy Thandi Mkhatshwa

A Young Man Was Shot Dead On My Street Corner

By Thandi Mkhatshwa

Published on Tue, Oct 06 2009 by Thandi Mkhatshwa
South Africa--Bad things have been happening around my neighborhood of Acornhoek lately, and I can’t help but be terrified by some of them.  I’m especially frightened by an incident that took place right here on my street corner on Monday morning.

My two nine-year-old siblings were busy preparing to leave for school, and I was trying to get back to sleep. As soon as they stepped out of the house I heard them calling for me to come outside to see the police vans and ambulance that were parked on our street corner. I’m definitely not a morning person, so at first their shouting annoyed me.  I yelled back at them to stop waking me up. I even tried to cover my ears with a blanket, but they wouldn’t stop calling for me. Half asleep I got off of the bed and tiptoed outside wearing only my pajamas.

I couldn’t exactly see what was going on, but judging from the ambulance, a number of police cars, and several people who were standing around at the scene, I could sense that something was terribly wrong. I quickly went back inside my room and changed into proper clothes. I took a couple of steps, and in no time, I was at my street corner.

What I saw there in the middle of all those people really shocked me. A young man was lying dead on the side of the street. The police had covered him up with white linen, but his feet were showing. He only had socks on and his shoes were nowhere to be found, but his beer and a soft drink were visible.
 Everyone was anxious to find out who the young man was.  When the police unveiled the linen, everyone wanted to take a closer look at the deceased. He was very light in complexion and looked to be in his early 20s’.  No one knew him,  but some people were whispering and saying that he was just here visiting his girlfriend over the weekend. Little did he know that it would be his last visit.

 Apparently the young man and his girlfriend were walking home from a tavern on Monday morning when all of a sudden his girlfriend’s baby’s father attacked them. The baby’s father, who has killed two times before, shot his baby mama in the chest and the young man straight in head.  He died instantly. He then called an ambulance and left the scene of the crime. The ambulance soon came and quickly rushed girl to the hospital.  She was breathing but unconscious. 

I did hear the gun shot at that morning but thought nothing of it. At the time I thought it was just simply a bunch of guys playing around with firecrackers. But I later faced with the horrible truth. The sight of that young man lying dead on my street corner really scared me to death. It was all so unreal. I mean, I usually hear of this sort of thing happening else where in South Africa on the news, but I never here.
I didn’t understand why people have to kill each other like ruthless animals. Life is precious and no one has the right to take it, yet some people think they do.  I suddenly felt pain in my heart as if the young man was somewhat related to me. I couldn’t stand around there anymore, so I left the scene of the crime and went back home. But I couldn’t stop thinking about the dead young man.  I couldn’t stop thinking about how his family would react to the sudden news of losing their loved one, a young man who could have had a bright future ahead of him.


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