Cedara stunned by stabbing

2014-04-12 00:00

A VICIOUS attack, believed to be gang related, on a bus full of children at Cedara outside Pietermaritzburg yesterday afternoon has left four children seriously injured.

It is believed that the fight was related to the activities of the infamous 26 and 28 gangs.

However, police spokesperson Captain Laume van Jaarsveld said the attack was related to the fact that one of the children, who had been stabbed between the eyes and in the neck and was seriously injured, was a witness in an assault GBH case currently in court. She said it was the second time the boy had been attacked by the accused because he was a witness in the matter. “He was being intimidated. He is in a very serious condition and a case of attempted murder has been opened.”

Van Jaarsveld said the court case was continuing on Monday.

According to a close source yesterday, members of the 28 gang boarded a bus outside the Sibongumbouvo school in Cedara at 2.40 pm and embarked on a frenzied stabbing spree aimed at alleged members of the 26 gang.

“They were aiming to inflict maximum damage to their victims. Whatever got in their way they lashed out at with huge, sharp knives; chests, faces, hands. They weren’t playing; they were aiming to maim and kill,” the source said. The source said that children on the scene had told them that they were members of the 26 gang and that the 28s had attacked them.

Some of the children were believed to have fled to a nearby clinic and police stations.

ER24 paramedic Andrew Rogers said they had taken four pupils aged between 16 and 21 to Edendale and Grey’s hospitals with serious injuries.

Van Jaarsveld said the attack occurred during after-school activities at the school near St Joseph’s Theological Institute.

She said an Okapi knife and two daggers were recovered at the scene.

Van Jaarsveld said it would take time for arrests to be made as the suspects were children.

“We will have to find out who started it and who retaliated and collect all the moms and dads together.”

She said police were still at the scene late yesterday afternoon gathering information.

Asked about the prevalence of gang activity in the area, she said it was uncommon there.

In February, 2011 The Witness reported that the nearby Mpophomeni community outside Howick marched against gangsterism. Protesters said that over the years the rival 26 and 28 gangs, named after hardcore prison gangs, were recruiting youngsters in the area to join them and were largely responsible for some of the most heinous acts of violence there.

“They use these names as a way of recruiting; the problem is that now these gangs are now recruiting even in primary schools,” said Mbhana Ndlovu, a secretary of the ANC in ward 8 at the time.

The Witness also previously reported on Mxolisi Vilakazi (14), a Grade 7 pupil at Sfisesihle Junior Primary School in Mpophomeni who was allegedly assaulted by the gang for the 50 cents he had on him at the time.

In 2009, a 12-year-old girl, Lerato Mbele, was stabbed 37 times by gang members after they snatched her right in front of her uncle. In the same year a man was found decapitated and in 2010, another man was hacked to death.

Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said they will investigate the matter and take appropriate steps. He said they consider the incident as though it happened in a school yard and therefore they will take the steps they would take if it had happened at school.

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