Teen stabs classmate

2009-10-15 00:00

“EVERY day we send our children to school well and prepare them for the day, but you never think disaster awaits them at school,” said a heartbroken mother whose son was stabbed at Woodlands Secondary School on Tuesday.

Krishen Govender (18) was stabbed five times by another 18-year-old pupil during tea break at Woodlands Secondary in what appears to have been a fit of rage. Krishen’s mother Renai has to deal with his stabbing alone — her husband died a year ago.

Other concerned parents who contacted The Witness said outbursts of violent crime are the norm at the school and warned that if nothing is done to address this, their children might not be so lucky next time.

“I don’t know what to say. I don’t know where to start,” Govender told The Witness as she stood at her son’s bedside at Edendale Hospital.

Krishen, a grade 11 pupil, was still drowsy from medication when visited by The Witness and could not talk.

According to his mother, he had been walking in the school’s corridor when he bumped a grade 12 pupil.

“That’s how the argument happened and the next thing he pulled out a knife.

“Apparently this boy has stabbed one of Krishen’s friends in the hand before,” said Govender, although this could not be confirmed.

Some pupils claim Krishen and his attacker argued and that Krishen was stabbed in the back when he turned to walk away.

Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said the pupil reportedly continued attacking Krishen, but that with the help of other pupils and teachers he was stopped and taken to the principal’s office, which called the police.

Krishen was stabbed four times in his chest and once in the back.

“The pupil was handed over to the police and was taken into custody,” said Budhram.

A parent who spoke to The Witness said the suspect has been suspended for other violations, but this could not be confirmed yesterday as the Education Department was unavailable for comment.

The parent said violence at the school has become worse lately. “My niece has been in that school for five years and she can tell you lots of stories. The school has a lot of gangsters who smoke zol [dagga] and the teachers do nothing. There is always violence — girls fighting with other girls over boys and boys carrying knives — and it doesn’t seem like the teachers care.”

According to this parent, his 13-year-old daughter was so shaken by the whole incident that she was scared to go back to school.

“… School is like their second home. It is the school’s duty to guard our children when they are in their care. My daughter saw this young guy being stabbed …,” said the parent.

He also admitted to having problems concentrating at work since the incident.

“I go to work, but my mind is not there because I’m scared of getting that same call. I’m afraid that these drugged boys might catch her in a corner and rape her because all these thugs are allowed in the school. They do something wrong and are suspended for just one day and that’s it.”

Meanwhile, the priority for Govender right now is to see her son get better.

“I’m concerned about him going back to the school, but I have not had time to ask questions.

“I have been here with my son. I can’t even remember who called me at work about this — that’s the state of mind I was in. I just want justice to be done,” said Govender.

Edendale Hospital spokeswoman Samke Mncube said Krishen was transferred to a private hospital in a stable condition as requested by the family.

The suspect is expected to make a court appearance in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

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