Gauteng police have arrested a pupil who was on the run after he allegedly stabbed three fellow pupils, leaving one dead outside Forest High School in Turffontein, southern Johannesburg, on Monday.
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. The suspect will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday facing charges of murder and attempted murder," he said.
The incident, which some have described as being gang-related, took place while pupils were writing their mid-year examinations.
The two surviving pupils are in a stable condition in hospital. The alleged perpetrator is 19 years old.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who arrived at the school shortly after the incident, said all four attended the same school.
According to Lesufi, the stabbings occurred after a scuffle had broken out between the victims and the suspect last week.
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.
Lesufi has suspended classes with immediate effect.
"We have asked the principal to communicate with the parents. We have quarantined the school for the next 48 hours to provide all relevant support that is needed to those who witnessed the stabbings and to friends of the deceased," he said.
One pupil described the suspect as being brave because he had faced the three victims on his own.
"I saw one of the three boys who allegedly came to attack the suspect, running around in a circle and he later collapsed on the ground. His head first hit the ground. We were standing outside watching the entire scene. The suspect is brave, and he fought hard ..."
The pupil 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.
"I can't wait to complete my matric examinations and leave this place. I am tired of seeing my fellow pupils fighting each other at school," he added.
The suspect has been described by others as a problematic pupil who allegedly falsified his registration by giving the school a fake address.
This was established by the police soon after he allegedly stabbed his peers.
The dead victim, Daniel Bakelwa, 16, a Congolese national, was left lying in a pool of blood after the stabbing, surrounded by relatives and fellow countrymen crying hysterically, his body covered in a silver foil blanket.
Collapsed near her son's body
Bakelwa's mother, Antho Mubiala, 42, who cried hysterically, was comforted by a group of people before she collapsed near her son's body.
His uncle, Bovick Mandinzi said he was at home when he received a call that his nephew had been stabbed and thought it was a joke.
"I then received a second call and I immediately summoned my fellow Congolese nationals and we rushed to the school, where I found Daniel lying in a pool of blood. We are all Africans. Why must we kill each other? I can't say his killing was xenophobic-related.
"I have lost one of my own in this country. We don't have reasons why Daniel was killed, and we want to know why. This school should protect our children. I have been told that the boy who allegedly killed him is dangerous. I have asked myself why he was not searched when he entered the school in the morning," said Mandinzi.
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