Accused in school stabbing get bail

2013-04-24 00:00

THREE accused appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with the alleged stabbing of Siyanda Sithole at Umlulama Secondary School on Monday.

The proceedings were in camera as one of the accused is a minor and may not be identified.

Sbonelo Nqayi (19), Mlungisi Sithole (19) and a 17-year-old youth face a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm arising from the incident.

The state did not oppose the granting of bail and all three accused were released on warning pending their next court appearance on May 6.

All three elected to apply for legal aid. The court was told that only one — Mlungisi Sithole — has a previous conviction, for possession of dagga in 2011.

Police believe that the attacks at the school on Monday in which two pupils were injured are gang-related.

Clinical psychologist Akashni Maharaj said most people who join gangs want to be in a position of power.

“It is peer pressure that makes them join these gangs. Some are bullies who want to be in control, powerful and feared by the others. Sometimes it is because of the family background if they are bullied and abused at home.”

Maharaj said parents needed to find out why their children joined gangs.

“Once they understand what it is they have to address, they should give their children options.”

Communication between parents and children was most important, she said.

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