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Cape Town - The principal of a Crossroads school where a 17-year-old pupil was stabbed to death last week said two rival gangs had been causing problems for some time.
Votile Mazimela identified the two gangs as the
Vatos and Vuras but said the latter had changed its name to the Department of Killers.
Grade 8 pupil Anele Mhlawuli, 17, was stabbed to death by four fellow pupils just before heading to class.
According to pupils at the school, Anele was a member of the Department of Killers and was murdered by the Vatos gang.
Yesterday, Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu was due to visit the school, but her Joburg flight was delayed and Human Settlements Deputy Minister Zou Kota-Fredericks went in her place.
Kota-Fredericks addressed pupils and staff, saying gangsterism should be rooted out. “This is not a memorial service, but we are here to say that there must be a bright future at our schools. This is a brand new school, it does not deserve this,” she said.
Mazimela, pictured, said since last week’s stabbing pupils had been demanding extra security.
“They are scared and many of them are not coping. I have hired two guards at the gate with metal detectors,” he said.
According to Mazimela, gang fighting began last year in March. A month later a pupil was stabbed by a pupil from another school.
He said the four accused of killing Anele had been involved in the gangs.
Whenever the school called in the parents of gang members they defended their children, he said.
A parent of one of the four arrested told the Cape Argus she had been called by a detective and told to bring her child to the police station as he had been involved in a fight.
The mother of the 17-year-old Grade 9 pupil said she had consulted other parents about the incident and they had decided to hand their children over to the police that same evening.
She said the four pupils were being held at Pollsmoor prison and the day before they were transferred to the prison her son had called her begging her not to let the police take them to prison.
“I still love my son and will support him,” she said.
Cadet News Agency