Popular South African teen model, Aphiwe Mgoqi is dead.
The 17-year-old star, who modelled for Woolworths, Mr Price, Ackermans, Jet and graced TV screens, magazines and billboards was stabbed 17 times and stoned to death by a group of about 100 teenagers on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, police were trying to work out the motive for Aphiwe’s murder.
His family does not know why anyone would harm their boy – he had no enemies, was not a gang member and was, by all accounts, a model pupil.
Nomfundo Mgoqi, his mother, said she could not believe what had happened.
“It feels like he’s gone to school and will walk in any time,” she sobbed.
While police are trying to piece together the puzzle of why Aphiwe was targeted, a witness told the Cape Argus that Aphiwe and a friend had accompanied two girls to New Crossroads.
* Mother Nomfundo Mgoqi, left, and grandmother Nomaza Mgoqi
But it appeared the girls led Aphiwe into a trap. When they got to Manyano Street, the girls made a phone call and were overheard saying: “We have them.”
Soon a crowd appeared.
The friend fled, but Aphiwe was caught.
The crowd, armed with pangas, knives and stones, surrounded Aphiwe and began to assault him.
“He tried climbing over a wall of a house. He was already over the wall but they grabbed his arm, stabbed him with a panga and then dragged him back over the wall,” said a witness.
The witness saw the gang hack Aphiwe with pangas and bash his head with chunks of concrete.
Two blocks away, Nomaza Mgoqi, Aphiwe’s grandmother, heard calls from the street, urging her to come out because her grandson had been stabbed.
When she arrived at the scene, Aphiwe’s body had been covered with a blanket.
“When I lifted him, blood was streaming out of his body. There were two huge concrete stones right next to where his head was. He was gasping for air,” she said.
Aphiwe was taken to KTC Hospital in Gugulethu where he died.
“He was a good boy. Whenever he needed something he would bribe me by calling me ‘my beloved grandmother’ – that was his way of getting to me.”
Meanwhile, the mood at Aphiwe’s school, Walmer Secondary, was sombre. Principal Raymond Jansen said a pupil had told him the news on Tuesday night.
He had made the announcement to the school on Wednesday.
“Pupils were in tears, even those who just met him this year. They couldn’t stop crying because he was a great peer to have.”
Aphiwe had been repeating Grade 9 this year, and Jansen said he was a pupil who had always tried to give his best. The teen’s murder had come as a surprise because judging by the way he behaved “he was definitely not a gangster”.
Aphiwe was soft-spoken, quiet and exemplary, “the type of pupil every teacher would love to have in class, because even if you shout at him he would never backchat. We have lost a good pupil”.