Mob of pupils kills mugger

2010-04-23 00:00

A GROUP of pupils, who say they have had enough of being robbed of their valuables at gun- and knifepoint, killed a robbery suspect inside their school premises in Mbumbulu, south of Durban, yesterday morning.

It is alleged that the suspect, who was killed with sticks and stones, was among a group of three men who have been terrorising pupils of Sawpit area schools in Mbumbulu.

The pupils said they fear for their lives every day on their way to and from local schools.

“For sure this has taught others a lesson,” said a member of representative council of learners (RCL) at Charles Sabelo High School. He asked to remain anonymous, saying he fears the suspect’s friends might retaliate.

The man, aged about 25, was killed in the school grounds at about 9 am. It is alleged that he was attacked by more than 100 pupils of the high school and others from the neighbouring Nathaniel Secondary School.

It is alleged that the man, who usually operates with two companions, was alone yesterday morning when he robbed a boy from Charles Sabelo school of R20 at knifepoint.

“He then ran away toward Adams Mission, leaving his victim crying in shock. But students gave chase and other community members apprehended him, and everyone started beating him. They took him back to the school premises where more pupils from both schools joined in the beating,” said another RCL member, Sandile Bhengu.

A pile of stones marked the spot where the suspected robber was killed.

The path was spattered with blood. Pupils at Charles Sabelo said after the incident they were sent home after 11 am.

Khulekani Mtolo, a grade 11 pupil, said, “I was in my classroom when I saw a group of learners and members of the community at the gate, but I didn’t think they were assaulting someone. I only realised that later when other pupils, who participated in the assault, returned to the classroom.”

Another grade 11 pupil, Syanda Shange, said he was walking down the hill to the school when he saw the group.

“I first thought they were toyi-toyiing, but as I got closer I saw that they were accosting a man who was completely naked and they were beating him with sticks. “At the gate they stoned him to death.”

The murder followed a number of attacks by armed robbers on the dirt road through a thick sugar cane field from the Sawpit area to Adams Mission.

Locals said the man was among three armed men who had confronted a group of six pupils in the sugar cane field and stole six cellphones and cash on Wednesday.

Said a Nathaniel Secondary School pupil, “On Friday I was walking with three girls to school when the deceased and his two friends pointed a gun and knife at us and robbed the girls of their phones and cash.

“Luckily I had left my phone at home because I had forgotten to charge it.

“I was not present when he was assaulted, but I don’t have a problem with his death because he was a menace.”

Police spokesperson Brigadier Phindile Radebe said the other two men, who were with the deceased during yesterday morning’s robbery, managed to escape the angry pupils.

“Police at Mbumbulu will be investigating cases of armed robbery and murder. We are still looking for the two men who managed to flee. It is alleged that one of them was in possession of a firearm,” said Radebe.


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