Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

‘We should blame ourselves as elders’ – Gauteng Education MEC laments pupil’s fatal stabbing

A Grade 10 boy was stabbed to death on Thursday.

Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane has criticised parents and teachers following the fatal stabbing of a high school pupil.

Chiloane visited the Geluksdal Secondary School in Brakpan, Ekurhuleni, on Friday after Shawn Mphela was killed the day before.

The Gauteng Department of Education alleged that a fight broke out when three Grade 10 pupils pepper-sprayed others during school hours on Thursday.

Subsequently, about eight pupils confronted them about their behaviour, and they stopped.

The alleged perpetrators emerged after school in the company of unknown persons, with a fight breaking out, resulting in Mphela’s death.

Another pupil escaped with minor injuries, while one of the alleged perpetrators was injured during the confrontation.

According to pupils, the principal and teachers were notified before the incident took place.

‘Protect the school’

Chiloane lamented the 18-year-old’s death while addressing parents and pupils at the school on Friday.

“I was told that an incident took place prior to what happened outside the school, inside the school, the question I’m asking was, where was the teacher?

“I’m saying this because in between schooling hours teachers must be in the classroom all the time,” he told the crowd.

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The MEC said he was expecting a report from the school’s acting principal on teachers who were not present.

“Only God knows had they been present in class we will not be speaking like this. We don’t know.”

He said he felt that parents had failed the pupils.

“If any blame should go, it should be on ourselves as elders. This situation could have been stopped and it requires us a community to come back here and protect the school. Protect our future.”

‘Not a playground’

Chiloane further promised to beef up security at the school.

“We are going to make sure, from now on, that we protect and secure this school. We need to ensure that we provide every necessary protection that we can put for these learners… that in between schooling hours, it must be known that this school is not a playground.

“It is a not a playground to take political chances where you want to grow and defeat what we want to achieve here.

“So for these learners of ours, we are going to put necessary protection and will increase security that is needed at this school. We will make sure that learning starts on time and that teachers are in class all the time.”

READ MORE: ‘Our schools don’t harbour gangsters’: Gauteng Education MEC says dept not losing fight against violence

The MEC also visited the family of the deceased on Friday.

Earlier, an angry mob damaged the property of a 31-year-old man believed to have stabbed Mphela to death.

Police had to disperse the crowd using rubber bullets and stun grenades after they entered the premises carrying weapons and breaking windows looking for the man.

The alleged suspect was rescued by a police nyala.

According to reports, three people have been arrested in connection with Mphela’s murder.

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Department of Education Gauteng

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