Parents threaten to shut down Forest High if stabbing suspect returns to school

2019-06-07 07:54
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visits the scene of a stabbing at Forest High School on Monday.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visits the scene of a stabbing at Forest High School on Monday. (Twitter)

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Parents at Forest High School in Turffontein, Johannesburg, have reportedly threatened to "shut down" the school if a pupil who is accused of stabbing three other pupils on Monday, killing one, is allowed to return to school to complete his exams. 

Daniel Bakwela, 16, died in the attack. 

According to Tuks FM and EWN, parents did not want the 19-year-old boy back on the premises, even if he was granted bail.

On Monday, Gauteng police arrested the pupil who was on the run following the incident, News24 reported. 

Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said the suspect fled the scene but police were able to trace him to Dobsonville in Soweto, where he was arrested.

"The motive... is unknown at this stage and police investigation is continuing."

Mohamed Mwela appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday on charges of murder and attempted murder.

The bail application of the 19-year-old suspect was however postponed, The Citizen reported.

The magistrate reportedly said he needed time to make a decision and would only deliver judgment on the bail application on Monday. Mwela was remanded in custody, so it's not clear when and if he would be allowed to return to the school once granted bail.

The school had been closed since the incident and resumed exams on Thursday with a heavy police presence on the premises. 

School is 'like a prison'

The Star on Wednesday reported that conditions at the school are dire and akin to a prison.

"This school should be called 'Forest High Correctional Service'. When you get into the toilet, the older guys tell you that this is not a place for small boys and you are forced to pay money," a pupil told the newspaper.

"They also tell you to massage their penises and make them ejaculate. Almost 99% of the school is either on weed or some kind of a drug," another pupil reportedly said.

According to another pupil, two rival gangs – the South Top Kids and the Italian Destruction Vele – had members inside and outside the school.

News24 quoted a pupil who said gang fights were the norm at the school, claiming that Bakelwa and his friends were gang members who fought with the suspect's gang on a regular basis.

"They were carrying sjamboks and bricks and the suspect, who was being attacked, took out his knife and stabbed three boys from the STK gang," said a Grade 11 pupil, according to Sowetan.

According to Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, the stabbings occurred after a scuffle had broken out between the victims and the suspect last week, News24 reported. 

Lesufi said the suspect had been writing his examinations on Monday. The three victims, who had no examinations scheduled for the day, were allegedly waiting for him outside the school.

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