Learner (17) dies in fight over zol

2017-03-07 06:01

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Lwande Masobe left his home in Langa to go to school in Bridgetown on Wednesday never to make the return trip.

Masobe (17) was stabbed to death by a fellow learner at Bridgetown Secondary School after an alleged fight over a dagga cigarette.

The suspect, a 16-year-old boy, appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on the murder charge after he was brought to Athlone Police Station by his father on Wednesday.

Athlone police spokesperson Sergeant Zita Norman says that officers responded to the call at 11:30, but by the time they arrived on the scene, Masobe had died.

“He was stabbed once on the left side of his chest. The police then spoke to a teacher, who told them that two children were fighting in the passage. It is alleged that two learners were fighting over a zol,” says ­Norman.

She adds that a teacher came upon the scuffle and asked the alleged killer for the knife, but that he then ran away.

Masobe was then helped to a couch, where he died due to the nature of his injuries.

Officials of the provincial education department have condemned the murder.

“According to our information, the stabbing followed an argument over the payment of money to the alleged perpetrator. The school contacted the circuit manager who left immediately for the scene,” says Paddy Attwell, provincial education department spokesperson.

The department’s Safe Schools call centre was also contacted.

“Our Safe Schools fieldworker visited the parents of the victim, who then went to the school. The police arrested the alleged perpetrator when his father took him to the police station, according to our information.

“A school psychologist and social worker from the department’s metro central district office provided trauma counselling at the school for learners, staff and the victim’s parents,” Attwell says.

“This senseless death is deeply tragic. Our thoughts are with Lwando’s family at this difficult time,” adds Attwell.

Norman says the knife used in the stabbing is yet to be recovered after the suspected killed fled the school. Witnesses could not recall much when police officers interviewed them.

“There was no surveillance footage at the school and no knife was found. It is still not found. I think everybody was probably in shock.”

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