NEWS

Distressed Lichtenburg Mom Recounts The Events Leading To Her Son's Death

"He was a good boy. Spense was a loving child, who laughed and danced."

11/10/2017 17:34 SAST | Updated 12/10/2017 08:49 SAST

Blydeville is a township in Lichtenburg, North West province, which can almost be seen as the equivalent of Alexandra township in Johannesburg. There are dingy housing structures, dirt roads and almost no operating street lights. But just opposite this area is a shopping centre and another area with decent housing.

Police have barricaded Nelson Mandela Drive, where most of the service delivery protest action took place, but signs of the aftermath are still prominent. Rocks remain in the middle of roads and police nyalas circulate through the area. Down the road there is a small group of protesters who weren't deterred by the scorching sun.

It almost feels like a Saturday, with people standing in the streets and children skipping rope and laughing.

But 45-year-old Lilian Tshukudu will not hear her son's voice, because Joseph Spense was shot and killed during the protests on Tuesday morning.

"He was a good boy. Spense was a loving child, who laughed and danced," she said.

According to Tshukudu, after walking his father to work, 15-year-old Spense and his friend went to the street, where they started directing cars to help them avoid the protesting group. A man then stopped in the middle of the road and shot at him and his friends.

"He was walking his father to work in the morning and we came back, he came to fetch a blanket. He danced around and then he left with his friend. That's when they left. But then his friend came back alone and said, 'Spense has been shot.'"

She started trembling, as if reliving the experience.

"I was confused, I was weak, I couldn't do anything. I just wanted to see him. I thought he was in hospital, but he was already dead."

As she told HuffPost SA about the court hearing expected to take place tomorrow, she burst into tears and said she would be seeing the man who killed "my boy" for the first time.

"I will be seeing the white man who has caused all this pain... I did not think that he [Spense] would be gone."

The 46-year-old man responsible for the alleged murder handed himself over to the police on Tuesday night.

Tshukudu said Spense was her only child and that she had had high hopes for his future.

"I take medication because of my heart condition, I thought he would bury me when I die. He would've given me a better future, he would've been a principal, built a house for me."

Tshukudu rasied concerns about burial costs, which her family can't afford.

"How am I going to pay for his burial? I'm unemployed, I need help."