Forest High stabbing: 'Truth be told, our parents have failed us,' says pupil at Daniel Bakwela memorial

Forest High School murder suspect Mohammed Mwela, 19, at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court where he was granted R5 000 bail. (Gallo Images/Sowetan/Mduduzi Ndzingi)
Forest High School murder suspect Mohammed Mwela, 19, at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court where he was granted R5 000 bail. (Gallo Images/Sowetan/Mduduzi Ndzingi)

If parents are always concerned like they are when there is a violent death at a school, then tragedies like the one outside Forest High School can be avoided. 

This was the message from Representative Council of Learners president, Nobuhle Mashinini to a packed hall in Turffontein where 16-year old Daniel Bakwela's memorial service was held on Tuesday.

Bakwela was allegedly stabbed to death by fellow pupil Mohammed Mwela, 19, last Monday.

Mashinini said when an incident occurs inside school premises, then it is the responsibility of the school, but when it happens outside the premises, it is not only that of the school but also of the parents too.

The memorial was punctuated with song and dance as pupils, family and teachers celebrated the life of the Grade 8 pupil.

"Parents, are you truly doing your job as you claim to? Do you sit down with your child from a young age and teach them the wrong and right or do you let them grow and allow the world to teach them.

"This world is destroying the youth and parents choose to do nothing and only act when such incidents happen," said Mashinini

She said while the school and the family have lost someone, the baton had to be picked up by parents who must start acting and not only show they care when someone has died.

"Truth be told, our parents have failed us. The person I am at home might not be the person I am when I am out in the streets," said Mashinini.

Ward councillor Mongamele Mnyameni said it was time for society to unite to fight crime. 

Mnyameni said it was not the right thing to shift responsibility to the school. 

"We don't have to be reacting [only] when situations like these happen, but need to be part of the programmes of the schools. 

"It is also our responsibility as the parents not only to participate in meetings called by the school SGB and principal, but give ideas on [how] we can make it best for our kids to be safe at school," he said. 

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