Johannesburg - “Sleep well, my son. With all that’s happened, with all that’s been said, we place you in God’s hands.”
It’s with these words that Zandi Dzingwa bid farewell to her nephew, Nkululeko Ndlovu, 18, at his funeral in Vosloorus at the weekend.
Ndlovu, who was a Grade 10 pupil, was shot dead at his school, Phineas Xulu Secondary, last week, allegedly by a fellow pupil.
An 18-year-old Grade 11 pupil reportedly used the service pistol of his mother, a police constable, in the shooting.
It’s alleged that Ndlovu and another group of pupils had pelted the teenager with stones the day before and robbed him of his cellphone and clothes, leaving him only with his pants. The teenager faces charges of murder, theft and the possession of an unlicensed firearm.
Dzingwa, like other members of Ndlovu’s family, maintained that Ndlovu was not a bully.
She lashed out at the media, saying they were only telling one side of the story, and accused the press of using Ndlovu’s name to boost newspaper sales.
“The [Gauteng Education] MEC [Barbara Creecy] only knows one side of the story, which is that [Nkululeko] bullied everyone. How can [Nkululeko] bully the whole school?
“If that were the case, why weren’t we called in as his family? We’re hearing it for the first time that he was a bully,” she said.
Dzingwa also took a swipe at the school’s governing body, whose representative was scheduled to speak at the funeral but didn’t arrive, saying as a body meant to foster parental involvement in the school’s affairs, it had failed.
Prudence Molefe, a teacher at Phineas Xulu Secondary, spoke on behalf of the school’s principal, who could not attend the funeral.
Facing Ndlovu’s family and his mother, who was weeping bitterly, Molefe apologised for the teachers who spoke ill of the teenager after his death.
“No child is perfect. It’s not right for parents to take their children to school and fetch them as corpses,” she said.
Molefe said she knew the pain the family was going through because her sister’s child was killed after being shot at his school.
The boy accused of shooting Ndlovu will be in court on Thursday for a formal bail application.