Sometimes the biggest heroes are the smallest. Earlier this week, 6-year-old Kutlwano Garesape was walking to school with his mother Segomotso, 42, and his 8-year-old brother Thabiso near the town of Jan Kempdorp in South Africa's Northern Cape. They soon noticed they were being followed. When the man, Teselo Dikole, caught up with the family he brandished a broken bottle and demanded cash. When Segomotso failed to provide any, Dikole tried to rape her in front of her two boys. Little Kutlwano wasn’t about to let that happen. Unfortunately it cost him his life.
In an interview with South African media, Segomotso said, “Kutlwano slapped the man across the face and told him to let go of me. He kept on screaming, ‘Let go of my mommy! It is my mommy!,’ while slapping and kicking the man.” Sadly the boy was no match for the grown man. “When Kutlwano fell to the ground, I could see that the man was strangling him,” said Segomotso, “Then his arm went up and down and I realized that he was stabbing my son with the bottle.”
After frantically screaming for help, a group of men answered the distraught mother’s call. But it was too late. Dikole fled into nearby woods while the life drained from Kutlwano. He would die in his mother’s arms. As she recalled, “He asked me to kiss him and I did. He then stretched out his hand to his brother. When I held him to my chest again, his arms fell to the side and I knew he was dead.”
Police were called and after a sweep of the area apprehended Teselo Dikole. He is being held for murder and attempted rape. Kutlwano Garesape is remembered by his schoolmates as a joyful person, who was always eager to speak in class. His family will remember him as a beloved son who died bravely trying to defend his family to his last breath.
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