Fatal stabbings at matric party

2014-12-01 00:00

THREE matric pupils were stabbed to death during a brawl at a post-exams party in Richards Bay at the ­weekend.

The pupils were attending the Pens Down Festival at Alkantstrand Beach when they became embroiled in a brawl that got out of ­control, said police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker.

It is believed that the youngsters stabbed one ­another to death at about 3 am on Saturday.

A number of pupils were injured and taken to various medical facilities.

A lifeguard said it was shocking seeing the body of a young man surrounded by the police, friends and ­relatives.

“They were there to have fun, not to kill each other. It was sad seeing a body lying down on the floor.

“You could see the ­despair and grief on the relatives’ faces,” he said.

A witness said the area was covered in litter, ­including broken bottles of various alcohol brands.

Naicker said three counts of murder are being investigated by Richards Bay ­police.

Education Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said he was aware of celebrations taking place in various areas after matriculants had completed their exams, but it was ­unfortunate that this party had turned violent.

Mahlambi said Education MEC Peggy Nkonyeni had appealed to matriculants to celebrate cautiously and ­responsibly.

“The MEC is disturbed that such a tragedy ­happened on the last day of examinations. We condemn the act of exposing youngsters to alcohol. Organisers should ensure that these events are alcohol-free and security is tight, with an ­extensive police visibility,” he said.

Mahlambi said the ­department could consider banning these celebrations if they continued to yield tragic and negative results. He urged matrics to behave responsibly as other festivals continue.

Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu said the party was impromptu and organised without the knowledge of teachers and parents.

“Care should be taken that pupils should not be ­allowed to host such events on their own. Such events should be alcohol-free and done under the guidance of parents or teachers.”

Provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said parents should take precautions when allowing their childen to attend such functions.

“They must ensure that alcohol is not served to under-aged kids and that there are adequate responsible adults to supervise the event.”

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