DURBAN - SCHOOLING got off to a terrible start in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal, after two pupils were stabbed to death.
The incidents, which involved pupils from Kusasalethu and JG Zuma High Schools in Inanda, happened on Tuesday morning outside JG Zuma High School.
Sabelo Khoza, who was doing Grade 9 at Kusasalethu, was allegedly stabbed by JG Zuma Grade 11 pupil, Simphiwe Sikhakhane.
Sabelo, 15, was reportedly rushed to a clinic, but died on arrival, while Sikhakhane was attacked by residents and died at the scene.
According to sources in the school, Sikhakhane had come to collect stationery when he met Sabelo outside the gate.
It is alleged he confronted Sabelo, demanding he pay him R10, but Sabelo allegedly refused and a fight ensued.
“I was inside my house when people started screaming. Then I heard a voice shouting ‘He is being stabbed’. When I looked out I saw one boy lying down bleeding,” said a neighbour where the incident took place.
The school principal, who refused to give his name, also refused to comment, saying the school would not say anything as the incident had happened outside the school premises.
Sabelo’s sister, Anele Khoza, said the family was advised by young people from the area that Sabelo was lying bleeding next to JG Zuma High School.
She said they were shocked and rushed to the scene where they found the critically injured Sabelo still breathing. They rushed him to the nearest clinic, where he was declared dead on arrival.
Khoza said her brother’s friends said the perpetrator claimed that Sabelo owed him R10, then started stabbing him, but she said the family did not believe that.
“We do not think Sabelo owed (money to) that boy. I think he was robbing, as they normally do in that area. There is a lot of crime in that area,” said Khoza.
The father of the second dead boy, Philani Zulu, said that when he arrived at the scene he was told that his son, Sikhakhane, had been harassed by Sabelo several times, adding that even on the day he was killed he was defending himself, but unfortunately, locals attacked and killed him.
“Although we did not know that my son was being harassed by the boys living next to JG Zuma, the information we received was that it was an old grudge and it was the third time the boys had confronted one another,” said Zulu.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Nqobile Gwala said Ntuzuma police were investigating two counts of murder after two pupils were stabbed to death.
Education spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa condemned the incident and said that the department would do its own investigation on what led to the death of the pupils.
Meanwhile, Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu, accompanied by Deputy Minister Dr Reginah Mahaule, visited schools around Pietermaritzburg to assess the first day of schooling.
By the time of publishing, Mthethwa said he was still waiting for the report from government officials who visited schools in other parts the province before issuing a statement.
But DA member of the education portfolio committee, Dr Imran Keeka, said that there were problems in the schools he visited.
“There are pupils who have not been placed, while in others principals are still holding pupils’ school reports because of non-payment of school fees. I urge the MEC to intervene.”