Fight over two slices of bread ends in murder

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Kimberley – A Kimberley man, who allegedly stabbed a man to death following an apparent fight over two slices of bread, appeared in the Northern Cape High Court on Monday on a charge of murder.

The accused, Mlungisi Memane, 22, not only stands accused of murdering Gopolang Quinton Mmokwa but also of attempting to murder Lebogang Emmanuel Hopton during an incident on January 29 in Galeshewe.

Mlungisi Memane, 22, not only stands accused of murdering Gopolang Quinton Mmokwa but also of attempting to murder Lebogang Emmanuel Hopton. Picture: Norma Wildenboer. Credit: DFA
Mlungisi Memane, 22, not only stands accused of murdering Gopolang Quinton Mmokwa but also of attempting to murder Lebogang Emmanuel Hopton. Picture: Norma Wildenboer. Credit: DFA

Memane on Monday pleaded not guilty to both charges, saying that he acted in self-defence during the incident.

During the incident, Mmokwa and Hopton each sustained two stab wounds, allegedly inflicted by Memane. Mmokwa died on the scene.

Hopton on Monday took the witness stand and described the events that left his “best friend” Mmokwa dead.

Hopton testified that the three of them had been drinking beer when an argument broke out between Mmokwa and the accused.

According to Hopton, Memane told Mmokwa “you think you are a cheeseboy and better than us because you live in a big house” during the argument.

Hopton then testified that Mmokwa decided to go home as he was hungry and he (Hopton) left with him, only to have Memane follow them.

“We told him to go back, as he was not going to walk with us, but he did not turn back,” Hopton said. He then added that they reached Mmokwa’s house and Mmokwa went to the kitchen. Memane apparently followed him into the kitchen and came out holding a bread bag in the air.

“Memane said that that there were only two slices of bread and an argument broke out between the two. Memane told Mmokwa that he was stingy and did not want to give him any food,” Hopton told the court.

“When the argument between them broke out again, I pushed Memane through the door and a fight started between us. I slapped him in the face and fought back. He then went to fetch a knife from his house and I went on my way home.

“He came running after me with the knife but his mother came out and shouted Mlungisi, stop!’. He came to stand in front of me and I told him stab me’,” Hopton said.

He added that Memane’s mother managed to take the knife from the accused and a child ran into the house with it. Hopton further testified that he then sat under a tree, drinking beer, when Memane again came towards him with a knife.

“He told me: Hit me as you hit me before’, but I ignored him. He then proceeded to stab me in my side and then in my right arm, with the blade coming right through my wrist,” Hopton said.

He added that Mmokwa tried to stop the accused and shouted: “Hey, what are you doing?” Memane then allegedly also stabbed Mmokwa in his back.

“Mmokwa was running away but Memane tripped him and stabbed him a second time in the chest. He then said I told you that I was going to kill you one by one’,” Hopton testified.

He concluded by saying that he passed out soon after and that neither he nor Mmokwa were in possession of any weapons during the incident. The trial is expected to continue today.

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