Family of slain Forest High pupil struggle as schools go back

2019-07-10 14:08
Forest High School murder suspect Mohammed Mwela. (Photo by Gallo Images, Sowetan, Mduduzi Ndzingi)

Forest High School murder suspect Mohammed Mwela. (Photo by Gallo Images, Sowetan, Mduduzi Ndzingi)

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The family of slain 16-year old Forest High pupil, Daniel Bakwela, say they are heartbroken that he was not among pupils returning to school for the third term on Tuesday. 

The family was speaking after their son's alleged murderer, Mohammed Mwela, 19, appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, after he was granted R5 000 bail in June. 

"It is still sad for us as the family. When you send your kids to school, when they come back, it becomes a problem (sic). Yesterday was the first day back to school, but unfortunately, he will never go," Bakwela's uncle Nzamba Juho said. 

He said the family was still mourning the loss of their son, but had now placed everything in the "hands of God". 

Magistrate Lucas Van der Schyff postponed the matter to August 30 to allow the State to obtain a post-mortem and DNA reports. These are to form part of the investigations as the case goes to trial. 

A calm Mwela walked into court, accompanied by his legal representative, seemingly without any family representative present. He was dressed in a blue jacket, with his head shaved. 

During the bail application in June, it came to light that Bakwela was facing a charge of robbery.

'We can't know what really happened'

"We don't know what went wrong because the kids go to school, and when they come back, we do not know what they did when they were in school. We can't know what really happened," Juho said.

Regardless of the charge, Juho said the focus was now on the fact that Bakwela was murdered.  

"We are not talking about the robbery, but about murder here. If the prosecutor knew that there was such a charge of robbery, they were supposed to inform us as the family and not wait for the day the child passes away," said Juho. 

Mwela is facing a murder and two attempted murder charges after he allegedly stabbed the 16-year-old Bakwela to death and injured two others outside the Turffontein school in Johannesburg.

Magistrate Basimane Molwana, who granted him bail, had ordered that he be moved to a different location and school, and that he did not leave the country. 

Mwela was also ordered not to interfere with witnesses involved in the case.

At the time of publication, News24 had sent an enquiry to the Gauteng Department of Education, requesting information about where Mwela was attending school following the court order that he be moved. Once a comment is received, it will be added.

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Read more on:    johannesburg ­  |  crime

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