Page last updated at 16:31 GMT, Monday, 15 September 2008 17:31 UK

Victim 'gentle, loving and kind'

Mr and Mrs Kingonzila
Kimbeni and Caroline Kingonzila forgive their son's killers

The mother of a teenager stabbed to death outside a bar in south London says she forgives his killers and takes strength in her Christian faith.

Oliver Kingonzila, 19, died after being found with stab wounds outside the E Bar in Croydon on Saturday. Two men, both aged 18, have been arrested.

Today, his mother described Oliver as "the gentle one, very loving, very kind. He will be there to help you".

Oliver's older brother, Herve, 27, died of a heart attack earlier this year.

Caroline Vibila Kingonzila told BBC London that it is not too soon to forgive Oliver's killers.

"I don't have room for bitterness because bitterness cannot take me to heaven," Mrs Kingonzila said. "Oliver is with Jesus, he was baptized and he is in heaven."

Oliver's father, Kimbeni Kingonzila echoed his wife's strength in her faith.

"We believe in Jesus," he said.

The victim had captained Barnet's youth team and skippered the England Colleges FA team in a game against Italy and was widely seen as a promising footballer.

'Polite boy'

Mrs Kingonzila said her son was a "very polite boy" and she is left with the sense that he will come home again.

"I saw him going out and it's like I am still waiting for him to come back," she said.

But despite the grief of losing two sons within a year, she said her Christianity has allowed her to forgive "these boys".

Oliver Kingonzila
Oliver Kingonzila's family say he was polite and kind

"By my own strength I cannot (forgive) because it is my baby. The spirit of God has told me to that I must forgive, so I forgive. These boys need Jesus."

Elodia Kingonzila, the victim's 22-year-old sister, said the knife crime in her south London community is now out of control.

"You cannot go out anymore, you are not safe. You could be sitting on the bus, somebody comes and starts an argument for a stupid reason - knife," she said before warning young people to stay away from nightclubs.

"Stay at home, clubbing is not a life, there's always knives everywhere you go these days."

Miss Kingonzila described her young brother as a joker who loved to laugh with his family and preen in front of the mirror before an evening out with friends.

"Ollie was a very outgoing person, he was always laughing," she said.

Flowers have been laid where the young man was killed and one youth, who did not want to be named, said he had been with Oliver before the stabbing took place and that the attack was unprovoked.

He said: "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was unprovoked."

Police are appealing for witnesses to the attack.

Two 18-year-old men were arrested in connection with the killing.

One remains in custody at a south London police station. The other was bailed until late September pending further inquiries.

Stab victim was England captain
14 Sep 08 |  London

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