Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

‘Perpetrator will confess to killing pupil’: Chiloane blames Sebokeng school stabbings on gangsterism

Two stabbing incidents took place at the Dinokaneng Secondary School last week.

A suspect alleged to have killed a high school pupil in Sebokeng has been arrested, Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane has confirmed.

Chiloane visited the Dinokaneng Secondary School in Westside Park on Monday, following two separate stabbing incidents which took place last week.

According to the Gauteng Department of Education, the Grade 10 boy was stabbed during a fight by a fellow pupil outside the premises after school hours last Thursday.

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

The pupil was rushed to Sebokeng Hospital, where he was certified dead on arrival.

A day earlier, on Wednesday, a Grade 11 boy from the same school was stabbed during a fight at a local sports ground late at night and is currently in hospital.

Both incidents sparked violent protests in Sebokeng on Friday, when community members began throwing stones at buses and blocking off roads.

The protests prompted the school to send pupils home.

‘Riddled with gangsterism’

Speaking to the media outside the school, Chiloane blamed the stabbing incidents on gang violence in the area.

“We are back here again, dealing with the same situation of school learners fighting. We have realised that there is a need for us to improve our focus in strengthening security at schools that are in hotspot areas, where communities are riddled with gangsterism. Sadly, this gangsterism filters into and outside the schools,” he said.

The MEC said the residents of Sebokeng needed to work with the local Community Police Forum (CPF) as well as the South African Police Service (Saps) to tackle such incidents.

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“I have emphasised that there is a need to really communicate or report the situation much earlier because we know the learners are involved with gangsterism in our schools [and] the learners that are currently affected by substance abuse.

“We need to first report it early so then we can come in and assist because we will end up reacting to an incident where we have lost a learner. Obviously now, there’s tension in the community and the school – and that’s why we are here.”

He also confirmed that the perpetrator has since been nabbed.

“He has explained what happened to the police and said he had come to assist his friend [because] there was an altercation the day before [the incident]. The information we have is that he will confess that he is the one that did the unfortunate thing of stabbing our child.”

Furthermore, Chiloane said the provincial department was concerned about the spat of violent incidents in schools across Gauteng.

“These [sort of] incidents are [taking place] because of what is happening in the communities. There are areas [such as Duduza] where the local leadership, councilllors and CPF are working together visiting schools, randomly searching these learners and they were able to find very dangerous weapons including a firearm, knives and machetes.

“Our children are vulnerable and they can be easily coerced into these wrong things. I’m calling on the communities to come on board to work with the local leadership and really ensure that our schools are safe again.”

‘Increasing visibility’

The MEC added that the department was working on increasing security presence in hotspots areas in the province such as Westbury and Geluksdal.

“We know where we have our problems. We will increase the number of patrollers in those schools and we are looking to also get private security to come and assist.

“The Saps has also committed itself to increasing visibility and come to the schools from time to time [on a weekly basis],” he said.

“We do have some budget to assist us, but also we are looking forward to the 6 000 peace patrollers and vehicles that will be deployed in the communities. We will be installing CCTVs at our public infrastructure and I know schools are high on our agenda because that’s where everything becomes a center.”

On the other pupil who was stabbed, Chiloane said the Grade 11 boy was in ICU.

“He is stable now so hopefully he will pull through.”

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