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Durban - A pupil was beaten to death with a knobkierie and two others wounded during a prayer at the start of the matric exams at Sizimisele High School in Dannhauser on Monday.
Provincial Education Department spokesman, Muzi Mahlambi, said a psychologist would be sent to the school to counsel pupils who witnessed the death of 18-year-old Bongani Nkabinde, who was in Grade 9.
Five pupils – aged between 15 and 17 years – have been arrested.
They are expected to appear in the Dundee Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on a charge of murder.
Bongani died in a local clinic after being hit with a knobkierie.
Mahlambi said a fight started just as pupils had gathered at an assembly to pray for matric pupils who were about to write their first paper.
It is believed a group of pupils fighting outside ran on to the school premises.
Mahlambi said Bongani was not involved in the brawl, but was a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said two groups of pupils had got into a fight during the school assembly and Bongani was assaulted.
He said two other pupils were injured.
Mahlambi said violence at the school was not common, but admitted pockets of violence were being experienced at schools across the province.
“We take these incidents very seriously - anything that inflicts pain on others. We condemn any form of violence.”
He said they were working with police to conduct workshops at schools and pleaded with parents to take a stance against violence.
“We want our schools to be safe environments for our pupils,” he said.
KZN Education MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni, and Community Safety MEC, Willies Mchunu, were expected to visit the school on Tuesday.