Murder on campus

2013-06-04 00:00

A TEENAGER at Northdale FET campus was stabbed to death yesterday, allegedly by her boyfriend after a quarrel between the two.

Rashmika Janthielayal (17), from Greytown, was stabbed several times in her neck, face and body inside the college premises, just a few steps away from her hairdressing class. She bled to death in the corridor.

Friends and classmates told The Witness she had come to Pietermaritzburg to study hairdressing because she loved it and was inspired by her mother, who is also a hairdresser.

Walking to a class with a friend, she was on the steps inside the lecture building when she ran into her boyfriend. They talked before her boyfriend allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed her. She managed to run up the stairs, but collapsed in the corridor.

ER24 paramedics responded and tried to resuscitate her for 30 minutes, before pronouncing her dead.

A 19-year-old man, who is a fellow student, was taken into custody by police for questioning. He is expected to appear in court soon.

Rashmika’s classmate and friend, who declined to be named, said she witnessed the attack. She was distraught by what had happened and could barely contain her grief.

“He gave her a letter, but she never got the chance to read it. He just pulled out a knife and … stabbed her.

“I do not know what they argued about … I had known her for a while; she was a good friend and was a quiet person who never spoke a lot.”

The Witness understands the relationship between the two was allegedly abusive. For the past two months, Rashmika’s boyfriend had threatened several people close to her with violence, including her family and her lecturer.

A police officer at the scene said the family had reported allegations of abuse to them, and he had personally visited the boyfriend.

He said Rashmika was in the process of obtaining a protection order against him.

At the college premises following the attack, there were emotional scenes. Women believed to be related to Rashmika were weeping uncontrollably. One exclaimed “she is gone, they have taken [killed] her”.

Another stood next to the mortuary vehicle, crying and asking why Rashmika had been killed.

A group of students and lecturers watched in sombre mood.

A lecturer, who did not want to be named, said: “She was a very sweet girl; she did not deserve this.”

Her distraught lecturer, who also did not want to be named, said the class was on a five-minute break when she received a call from Rashmika’s mother, who said her daughter had been stabbed. “I said that was impossible as she was in my class, and [I] ran to the class to check and found her lying there on the floor.”

The lecturer has apparently also been intimidated by the boyfriend, who on several occasions had allegedly made threats that he would “get her” for trying to help Rashmika end the relationship.

The teen’s family declined to speak to the press, saying they were not ready to make a statement.

Police spokesperson Joey Jeevan said the man was expected to appear in court soon.

FET Student Representative Council president Thulani Dlamini said he could not speak. “The students are shocked and I am still very traumatised by what I saw there.”

Attempts to speak to the management at the college were unsuccessful.

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