South Africa News

Bullying under spotlight following fatal stabbing of Free State pupil

Bullying has once again reared its ugly head at the Zama Primary School at Zastron in the Free State. A 15-year-old learner has been arrested for fatally stabbing a fellow learner.

The incident took place on Wednesday afternoon outside the school premises. Earlier, the learners reportedly got into an argument where the suspect threatened to stab the deceased with a spoon.

The school principal ordered the suspect to go home and bring his parents. Instead he brought a knife and waited for his classmate outside the school yard. He stabbed his classmate on the chest. The victim’s mother is out of words after her first born child was fatally stabbed.

The family is in disbelief as their son never reported any bullying at school. Family spokesperson Modiehi Chabeli says he was a good child who enjoyed laughing.

“We are very sad. This is painful for us because we expected so much from him. He was so young and not troublesome. He was committed to his school work. He was just an easy going child,” adds Chabeli. The department of Education in the Free State says it is providing counselling to learners and parents of Zama Primary school.

Free State Department of Education spokesperson Howard Ndaba says the department condemns any incidents of violence in schools.

“The Free State education MEC [Tate Makgoe] has condemned this incident in the strongest possible terms and called on the school governing body (SGB) to investigate this matter and immediate implement disciplinary action. The department will provide psychosocial support to the learners, the teachers and staff of the school,” adds Ndaba.

The school governing body at Zama Primary School says it is concerned with the safety of learners. SGB chairperson Mpho Liee says the incident has brought shame to the school.

She says they are worried especially about the well-being of the learners who witnessed the stabbing. Liee explains: “We are in the process of fixing things, making sure that this situation does not repeat itself. On Sunday, we will have a meeting with parents to calm them down.

The suspect who is underage has been charged under the child justice act which ensures that children in conflict with the law are not dealt with according to the normal criminal procedures.

He is currently detained at a place of safety under police guard. The learner is expected to appear in court on Friday to face a charge of murder.

Source: SABC

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Lynn Forbes

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