FS schools now monitored by SAPS during and after school following grisly murder of Grade 11 pupil

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Free State police have deployed vans to patrol around the affected schools during and after school.
Free State police have deployed vans to patrol around the affected schools during and after school.
Steven van Heerden

He was a lively youngster who, like all children, was always in the street.

What the family of the Grade 11 learner who was stabbed to death at Kaelang Secondary School could never have imagined was that they would lose him in such a violent manner.

But there are a few false reports regarding their son's death that they want to correct, a family member tells Drum, speaking to us on condition of anonymity.

“We are currently mourning and would like to be given time to not speak about this.

"I have read so many articles related to our relative’s death and all the things I’ve read thus far are not true.

"We see there is information that is circulating, I am the one who went to school and reported the incident. He didn’t die at school but somewhere around the township that is where he was stabbed and died.”

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The incident, says the family member, happened on Tuesday in Bloemfontein, Rocklands, and some government officials believed the death was due to gang-related feuds.

“We do not know why he was stabbed because he was a jolly child who was always in the street. We don't know what transpired that led to his death.

"We will hear after the investigation is concluded. As a family, it is news to us that he was somehow affiliated with a gang. We only knew him as a good child who didn’t give us any trouble. He was writing his exams and looking forward to going to Grade 12.”

According to Howard Ndaba, a spokesperson for the Free State Department of Education, a bitter and violent brawl reportedly broke out on Tuesday afternoon between a group of boys, resulting in the fatal stabbing of the 20-year-old student.

Howard tells Drum that the reason they believe the student's death may be gang-related is that fights were going on prior to the student's death.

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“He was rushed to a nearby clinic," says Howard.

"Unfortunately, the learner succumbed to his injuries as he was receiving medical attention.

"We implore the community to not disrupt schooling and teaching as our Grade 12 learners are still in the process of writing their final exams. As a department, we want to say that this cannot be normal.”

Howard says police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the pupil's death.

“Police have deployed vans to patrol around the affected schools during and after school to monitor the situation.

"The case has been handed over to SAPS Provincial Anti-Gang Task Team.

"Our psychosocial team will visit the school to provide necessary support and counselling.

"We wish to convey our sincerest condolences to the learner’s family and the school community at large.” 

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