Forest High stabbing: Teen's alleged killer to be moved to another school, says Lesufi

Forest High School murder suspect Mohammed Mwela during his appearance at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court where he was granted bail. (Gallo Images/Sowetan/Mduduzi Ndzingi)
Forest High School murder suspect Mohammed Mwela during his appearance at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court where he was granted bail. (Gallo Images/Sowetan/Mduduzi Ndzingi)

Daniel Bakwela's alleged murderer, Mohammed Mwela, will be allowed to complete his three remaining examinations, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has said.

Lesufi was speaking at a memorial service held at Forest High School in Turffontein, Johannesburg, on Tuesday, where he also informed mourners that Mwela would be placed at a new school.

He said that a disciplinary hearing for those involved in last Monday's fight, which resulted in 16-year-old Bakwela being stabbed to death, was underway and those found guilty would be expelled.

"We are not going to interfere with the law, the law must deal with its own case and the department will deal with its own case."

He urged the family and pupils not to avenge Bakwela's death, but rather unite and learn from it.

"I am commanding you my beautiful learners, no matter where you are and no matter how you feel, there will be no revenge. There will be no revenge, and no revenge means no revenge," Lesufi said. 

He added that "an eye for an eye" made everyone blind and urged pupils to rather engage in a battle of ideas on how crime could be curbed, rather than starting a battle with weapons. 

Lesufi said while the school should sympathize with Bakwela's family, it must not single out Mwela as the law would take its course. 

He added that the time to talk had now come to an end and action was needed.

He informed the gathering that the department was now doing all it could to ensure pupils were in a safe and secure environment. 

'Daniel's death cannot be in vain'

Lesufi said the department had also asked the police to patrol the area and if a pupil was found to be engaging in illegal activities, he or she would be arrested. 

The department had also called for shebeens in and around the vicinity of schools to be closed down, not only around Forest High, but for schools across the province. 

"Daniel's death cannot be in vain. We have to rectify the wrongs that are happening in this school and outside the school," said Lesufi. 

No child is born ill-disciplined

He added that the department had identified about eight schools in Gauteng that were surrounded by shebeens.

He would also have a summit with school transport operators to address them about the dos and don'ts outside school premises. 

"I have already requested the team dealing with scholar transport, either you come here, drop learners [then] come and collect them later. If you park outside the school you just behave," said Lesufi. 

He said that no child was born ill-disciplined and pleaded with Bakwela's family to allow the law to take its course.

Lesufi added that Mwela's family should come together and offer support to the deceased's family as they had not sent their son to commit a crime. 

On Friday, a meeting would be held with school governing body members and student representatives to discuss a way forward regarding bullies in schools, he said. 

Bakwela will be buried in Turffontein on Saturday.

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