When Jade Stander left home in Westenburg on Friday evening, he told his mother, Yauna that he would be visiting his aunt who lives a few streets away.
Little did his mother know it would be the last time she would see her firstborn son alive.
The 23-year-old Jade was shot in the chest and face during an altercation with another person late that night and succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital.
The incident marked the seventh person to be killed in an around Polokwane within five weeks.
Yauna describes her relationship with her son as “perfect”, saying he has always spent time at home with her and his siblings and would always inform them if he decided to go out.
On this fateful evening, he left with his uncle to go to his aunt’s place where he found a few of his friends together in the street and decided to join them.
According to Yauna, Jade seldom decided to hang out with his friends in the evenings so when he did, there would be no reason for her to refuse because he was such an obedient and thoughtful son.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, Yauna was awakened by a neighbour who passed on the terrible news of Jade’s shooting and alerted the family that he had been rushed to hospital.
“I couldn’t understand what had happened but I was hopeful that my son would survive. When I got to the hospital the doctors were busy with him and he unfortunately passed on before I could say goodbye.”
With tears in her eyes Yauna speaks of the dreams Jade had to make her happy.
She said he constantly assured her of his love for her and would go out of the way to help around the house.
“Every evening after work, I would find him waiting outside the gate to greet me and welcome me home. I would find the house cleaned and his siblings taken care of. If it rained with thunderstorms I would find him waiting for me in my bed with his younger brother.”
Jade was a versatile young man, who loved playing soccer with his friends, babysitting his younger brother or being a barber.
He was friendly, smart, soft-hearted and humble.
He will be missed by his family, friends, the community of Westenburg and in particular those in Vervet Street.
According to police reports, Jade produced a knife during the altercation, upon which the other person pulled out a firearm. Both men were taken to the provincial hospital by their friends.
Westenburg Station Commander Capt Maimele Pilusa confirmed that the suspect was treated and discharged, and was taken to the holding cells.
“The licensed firearm was confiscated by the police and the suspect appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court and was remanded in custody. He set to appear again on 19 October to allow for further investigations and formal bail application.”
Story: Umpha Manenzhe