Empangeni High: Girl knifed 9 times at school gate

2009-04-30 00:00

A grade nine pupil was stabbed no fewer than nine times with a knife just outside her school in Empangeni yesterday morning.

The perpetrator apparently walked up to her without saying a word and attacked her.

Empangeni High School principal Zelma Matthee said yesterday that the attack took place at about 7.15 am at a side gate of the school in full view of another pupil whose mother had dropped her off there just moments before.

This child, who started screaming and ran away, said the attacker had been leaning against the fence. He walked up to his victim and started stabbing her without saying a word.

Joseph Kruger, owner of the Mounties Ambulance Service, who arrived on the scene in Dunn Road two minutes later, said most of the stab wounds were in the girl's shoulders. In an attempt to protect herself the child apparently turned her back on the man. He then stabbed her in the back and the blade penetrated her chest.

She was taken to a hospital in a stable condition.

While the attack was taking place, a school boy ran to the office to call for help, said Matthee. A grade 12 pupil, whose mother is a nurse, tried to stop the bleeding until the emergency services arrived.

Meanwhile, parents who had also arrived to drop their children at the school, as well as other bystanders, pursued the fleeing attacker. The school caretaker, who is related to the suspect, also helped to apprehend him.

The school is shocked at what happened. A teacher who is a qualified counsellor assisted the pupils, while a church minister attended to the victim's parents.

The victim's name is being withheld as publishing it could jeopardise the police investigation, according to local police spokeswoman Sergeant Zanele Mkhwanazi.

She said the suspect, who is in his thirties, later told police he had declared his love to the girl, but that she had called him a "k****r". That was apparently when he attacked her. Mkhwanazi added, however, that the police suspect that the man is mentally disturbed.

The suspect is expected to appear in court on a charge of attempted murder.

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