Bullying behind fatal shooting of pupil

2015-08-14 08:19

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Pietermaritzburg - Bullying was what caused a 15-year-old pupil from Copesville to shoot dead Akhona Nakile, 15, at Msilinga Primary School and wound another teenager, Lindokhule Thabethe, last November, the regional court heard on Thursday.

The young boy pleaded guilty, and was convicted by regional magistrate Rose Mogwera of four charges: murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of a 9mm pistol and unlawful possession of five rounds of ammunition.

State prosecutor N Msweli said the prosecution accepted the correctness of the statement made by the boy on Thursday.

The youngster, who was supported at the trial by his guardian, showed no emotion as his plea was read out but merely confirmed that this was what had happened.

In his plea the youth said that before the day of the shooting, his victim, Nakile, often found pleasure in abusing and bullying him. “He would make fun of me on many occasions and many times it would be in front of others. This situation got to a point where I could no longer bear the abuse,” he said.

He said on November 12 last year he had retrieved his father’s gun from the wardrobe and put it into his schoolbag.

At Msilinga Primary School he had confronted Nakile and an argument ensued between them. He alleged Nakile had pulled out a knife, causing him to run away.

“I went to where I had placed the bag and retrieved the firearm. I then proceeded to confront [Nakile] yet again. At the time when I reached him I pointed the firearm at him and fired a shot directly at him, causing the bullet to penetrate his neck,” he said, adding the bullet exited Nakile’s body and struck Thabethe on the cheek.

“I became terrified and fled the scene,” he said, adding he had fled home, where police came to arrest him. He had handed over the firearm, which was still in his schoolbag, to them.

The youth admitted that the shooting was not justified and that he realised that he could also injure someone else standing in close proximity when he fired.

Mogwera said she accepted that the boy had admitted all the legal elements of the crimes he was charged with.

However, she said before sentencing she wants a thorough report to be prepared by a social worker. She said the inquiry is to include interviews with teachers of both the accused and his victims; and the community and neighbours of all the parties involved. She also told the prosecutor she wants the youth to be assessed by a psychologist, and a correctional supervision official.

The court requested that the reports be done by September 30, to allow ample time for a full investigation to be carried out.

The youth will, however, appear in court again before that date, on September 14, because the law requires juveniles appear in court regularly within stipulated time periods.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  education  |  crime

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