Pupil stabbed to death at KZN school

2012-10-24 08:52
Nkosingiphile Ngcamu (The Witness)

Nkosingiphile Ngcamu (The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Separated by a fence, Khanyo Ngcamu could only watch in horror as a group of teenagers pounced on her cousin and killed him on Tuesday.

While watching a soccer match during a break at Umlulama Secondary School at Hopewell, Pietermaritzburg, Grade 8 pupil Nkosingiphile Ngcamu, 16, was dragged from the safety of the school grounds and stabbed several times.

He died while being taken to hospital.

Khanyo, a Grade 10 pupil at the same school, said Nkosingiphile had tried to run away, but the group overpowered and dragged him out of the school.

Disbelief


She and other pupils then watched in disbelief as Nkosingiphile was repeatedly stabbed. Nobody went to her cousin’s aid until his attackers had left.

Khanyo said she stood there helplessly.

“I was just crying,” she said.

When the attackers left, she ran to where Nkosingiphile lay.

“He was bleeding profusely. His body and face were covered in blood. He looked too weak to utter a word.

“I tried saying something to him, but I couldn’t. I was in so much pain.

“I’m not even sure if he saw me.”

Nkosingiphile’s aunt and guardian, Faith Ngcamu, said she received a call at work, informing her that her nephew was hurt.

With tears in her eyes, she said Nkosingiphile had been a “good” and “respectful” boy who had become mixed with “the wrong crowd”.

Khanyo said her cousin, who had lived with her family since his mother died in 2006, had wanted to become a lawyer.

“I’ll miss helping him with homework and watching TV together,” she said.

Motive

The motive for the killing is unclear, with gang rivalry and an argument over a girl both cited as possible causes.

Hopewell pupils who spoke to The Witness expressed fears for their safety at school, saying this was the third stabbing at the school this year.

They pleaded with the education department to beef up security before another one of them is killed.

“We don’t have security guards. Those we do have are like pictures, because they don’t do anything,” said one pupil.

“We need police officers as our security guards,” a Grade 11 pupil added.

The pupils told The Witness that teenagers who are not Hopewell pupils come to the school to drink and smoke on the premises, and added that there are rival gangs in the area, with Nkosingiphile a member of one.

Arrests

KZN education department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi condemned the incident, which he said had “hurt” MEC Senzo Mchunu.

“Almost every two weeks we’re burying children. When you send a child to school, you have hopes that he’ll become someone and don’t expect to lose him or her,” he said.

“We shouldn’t be spending money on security and fences, but instead, should be spending that money on books,” he added.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said it appeared that a fight had developed between a group of boys and Nkosingiphile, resulting in his being stabbed twice in the chest.

Jeevan said investigations by Thornville detectives led officers to Northdale hospital, where two injured teens were arrested.

They would appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court shortly.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  education
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