A school called Yizo Yizo

2013-11-04 08:00

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Local school kids call it the Yizo Yizo school.

Pupils are frightened to walk past alone.

It’s official name is Sizimele High School in Dannhauser, KwaZulu-Natal. Bongani Nkabinde was stabbed to death at the school this week while teachers allegedly huddled in the staff room.

Pupils from the neighbouring school, Mana High School, say they’re afraid to walk past Sizimele alone and have been warned that “a corpse” is needed from their school too.

It all started last Friday after school when Nkabinde’s dance crew, Abaphumeleli, and a rival crew, the Bananas from the Mdikane area, got into a fist fight about who had the best moves.

On Monday, the fight continued.

Members of Abaphumeleli and the Bananas arrived at Sizimele, all carrying weapons.

Chillingly, Nkabinde brought the spear that would be used to stab him to death.

During morning prayers, Friday’s fight resumed.

“I received a ‘please call me’ from Bongani’s phone. I called him, but a student picked up the phone and told me to rush to the clinic,” said Phumlani Nkabinde, Bongani’s uncle.

He said he quickly called Bongani’s father because he was at work in Johannesburg.

“When I tried to call Bongani’s phone again, a nurse answered the call. She said he was dead.”

The 18-year-old’s death has shattered his family – and driven fear deep into the hearts of Dannhauser’s schoolchildren.

“Since Monday we don’t walk alone any more when we leave school. Now we leave in groups. We are scared of what may come next,” said a Grade 9 student from neighbouring Mana.

She added that the turf war was not over yet and would spill into their school now.

“Bongani’s friends and the boys who stabbed him say that there must be a corpse that comes from our school too,” she said.

Pupils from the area who knew Bongani said he was a handful from the day he arrived at the school two years ago.

“He never listened to teachers and he was so problematic,” said one of his schoolmates.

Others said that the young man had a quick temper and claimed that he was well known for smoking marijuana on the school grounds. But Nkabinde’s uncle insists he didn’t know that side of his nephew.

Instead, he remembers a boy who loved playing soccer, and would break into song and dance anywhere, any time.

“He was such a good dancer. He loved that more than anything. The family is still in shock, especially his grandmother,” Phumlani Nkabinde said.

He said the young man’s death wasn’t just about dance moves.

“I hear these boys were also fighting over a girl. I don’t know the girl, but I know it was about her. I don’t know how these boys could get this out of hand, to finally kill someone,” he said.

But Sizimele is, local pupils say, notorious for fighting and turf wars.

“Those kids carry weapons to school and are always fighting. The school is known as Yizo Yizo (after the 1990s TV drama) and the teachers don’t know how to handle it. There’s no discipline at that school.”

Repeated attempts to get comment from teachers at Sizimele were unsuccessful.

» Nkabinde was buried in Dannhauser on Saturday. His uncle, Castro, said that police monitored the funeral but there were no problems.

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