'I want my son' - mother of pupil who was stabbed to death while walking to school

2019-03-13 14:41
Kulani Mathebula. (Sesona Ngqakamba,  News24)

Kulani Mathebula. (Sesona Ngqakamba, News24)

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"I want my son," the mother of a Grade 11 Mondeor High school pupil cried, as pathology services removed his body from a patch of grass, situated just 10 minutes away from his school in the Johannesburg suburb.

Kulani Mathebula, 19, was apparently on his way to school on Wednesday morning when he was attacked. 

"ER24 paramedics arrived on the scene at 08:14 to find another service assessing the boy. Assessments showed that the patient had sustained a stab wound to his chest and showed no signs of life", said ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring.

He said CPR was immediately initiated to try and revive the teen.

"Unfortunately, after some time, no vital signs returned, and he was declared dead by another service," Meiring said. 

72 hours action plan

Mondeor High School principal Vangelia Nicolaou was among the first at the scene.

She said that, when she arrived, Mathebula was still breathing and his eyes were open. Next to him, lay his blazer, bags and shoes.

The motive for the stabbing is still unknown and the police are investigating a case of murder.

The police said they had set up a team of detectives from crime intelligence and activated a "72 hours action plan" to ensure that those responsible for Mathebula's murder were arrested. 

"In terms of the footage we have seen, there is some information, but we are still going to work on them to use all other resources we have as the police to ensure that we come to the suspects and arrest them as soon as possible," Major General Max Masha said.

The police could not confirm whether Mathebula had been stabbed by fellow pupils. 

Kulani Mathebula
Pathology services remove Kulani Mathebula's body from a patch of grass, situated just 10 minutes away from his school. (Sesona Ngqakamba, News24)


Mathebula's uncle, Themba Chauke, 39, said he was shocked when he received the news of the incident. He described his nephew as a young boy who had a bright future ahead of him. 

"When I arrived, I tried to speak to the police. They couldn’t say where my nephew is, but then I saw him lying helplessly," an emotional Chauke said. 

He said he expected a lot from his nephew, who was the only child of his mother, Dumi Chauke.

"He wanted to be a lot of things, he wanted to be everything. He was so ambitious, but unfortunately it had to come to this," said Themba. 


Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said his department would support the family and had offered them counselling, as well as to pupils at the school. 

"We are saddened as the department and I must be honest that my heart is entering a stage that it has not entered before of consoling families. Rather than issuing report cards that congratulate families, I am now issuing death certificates," Lesufi said. 

Lesufi said within the first term this year, there had been a lot of deaths at schools. 

"Once more our sincerest condolences to the family, and we have no choice but to task the police to ensure that they make a major breakthrough with the evidence we have given to them," he said.

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Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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