A 20-year-old Grade 12 pupil has narrated in the Lusaka High Court how a 17-year-old juvenile stabbed his friend to death with a bottle at JCS bar in Longacres after they had some beer.

Michael Halubala testified that during a fight, the 17-year-old juvenile offender to pick a bottle and after breaking it on the ground, jumped on Sebastian Lungu, the deceased, and stabbed him on the left side of the neck.

But High Court judge Annessie Banda-Bobo wondered what the witness was doing in a bar as a grade 12 pupil and urged him to concentrate on school if he didn’t want to become a criminal.

This is a matter in which a 17-year-old juvenile of Kalingalinga is charged with murder.

Particulars of the offence are that on April 6, 2019 in Lusaka, the juvenile murdered Lungu aged 20.

The 17-year-old was initially jointly charged with a 16-year-old juvenile who was released through a nolle prosequi.

And when the matter came up for trial before justice Banda-Bobo, Monday, Halubala testified that on the material day around 14:00 hours, he left his home in Hellen Kaunda and went to visit his friend Lungu in Mtendere East.

He added that while at Lungu’s place, the two planned to have a drink-up later in the day at JCS bar.

Halubala told the court that around 19:30 hours, the two went to JSC Bar where Sebastian bought Black Label and Castle Lite lagers for them.

He told the court that after buying the beer, they started looking for a place to sit.

Halubala said the two went to sit at a table where the juvenile offender and the 16-year-old were and they looked drunk.

He said he knew the juvenile offender for 13 years because he used to live in his neighborhood in Mtendere.

“They looked tipsy. When we found them, the two were not drinking but there were some empty [beer] bottles. Lungu bought four bottles of beer, two for me and two for him for the second round and we got a bottle each and started drinking,” Halubala said.

The State witness testified that around 21:40 hours, he left the table for the toilet knowing that everything was okay at that time.

Halubala, however, said on his return five minutes later, he didn’t even reach the table when he saw the 16-year-old juvenile running towards Lungu and started punching him.

“I don’t know what happened after I left them to go to the toilet. But when I went back, the 16-year-old juvenile was throwing punches at Lungu. Lungu put his hand on the 16-year-old’s chest as if he was trying to push him,” he testified.

Halubala said they separated the two with the help of security guards and other people.

He said at this point, Lungu, who appeared tired, said he wanted to go and rest outside.

Halubala said Lungu then started walking towards the exit while he followed him from behind.

He said before he could even catch up with Lungu, the juvenile offender and the 16-year-old ran past him and started throwing punches at Lungu after they reached where he was.

Halubala said while the two were beating Lungu, he kept pushing them away to restrain them.

He said in the process, Lungu’s hoodie got torn and when he tried to remove it, the juvenile offender went to pick a bottle which he broke on the ground and stabbed Lungu in the neck.

“He went to pick a bottle, broke it on the ground and he jumped on Sebastian and stabbed him in the neck. After stabbing him, the juvenile offender tried to run away but taxi drivers caught him. At this point, I was scared and didn’t know what to do because it was my first time witnessing such,” Halubala said.

He said Lungu, who was bleeding, was later rushed to the University Teaching Hospital but died.

Halubala added that the juvenile offender and the 16-year-old were later taken to Woodlands Police Station.

He told the court that he did know what caused the fight because he had gone to the toilet.

In cross examination by the accused’s lawyer, Halubala said he didn’t know what type of drinks the juvenile offender was drinking on that day.

But as the witness concluded his testimony, judge Banda-Bobo wondered what Halubala was doing in a bar as a grade 12 pupil and urged him to concentrate on school.

“What were you doing in a bar as a grade 12? Go and concentrate on school unless you want to become a criminal,” said judge Banda-Bobo.

Trial continues.