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Cape Town - A grade 11 pupil was killed on Tuesday morning after being stabbed while travelling to school aboard a bus.
An 18-year-old, also believed to be a pupil, was arrested on a charge of murder.
Uviwe Mzingelwa, 17, from New Crossroads, was apparently involved in a fight with other passengers and died at the scene, said Western Cape Education Department spokesman Paddy Attwell.
The fight started at 7.30am as the bus was moving through Gugulethu.
Uviwe had attended Ned Doman High in Athlone.
“Many learners from various schools were travelling on the Golden Arrow bus when the stabbing took place, including Ned Doman, Spes Bona and Garlandale high schools,” Attwell said.
“The passengers received counselling at Gugulethu police station, including 23 learners from Ned Doman.”
He said a psychologist from the department’s Metropole Central district office provided counselling at the school. “Another counsellor from the district supported police counsellors at the police station.
“District officials and senior educators from the schools concerned visited the police station to support the learners and to obtain information on the incident.”
Golden Arrow spokeswoman Bronwyn Dyke said the fight between pupils on the bus had started on Monday.
“According to reports we have received, this started a while ago. It flared up (on Monday) when the deceased and another learner got into a fight. The deceased pulled a pair of scissors on another learner and stabbed him in the finger.”
She said the bus driver had flagged down a nearby police vehicle.
“The deceased and other unruly people were taken off the bus by police.”
Dyke said the fight had then continued on Tuesday when Uviwe was approached by two friends of the injured pupil. “Apparently two of the boy’s friends and the deceased got into another altercation.
He pulled out his scissors. They retaliated with a pair of scissors and stabbed the learner in the heart and he died.” She said the driver had driven to the nearest police station.
Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said a post-mortem would be conducted.
“He was stabbed several times with an unknown sharp object on the body. A murder case was opened for investigation and an 18-year-old suspect was arrested.”
Van Wyk said the suspect, who was currently in police custody, was expected to appear in Athlone Magistrate’s Court once he had been charged.
When the Cape Times contacted the school yesterday, principal Gwynne Philander was not there. Attwell said that Philander had described Uviwe as quiet and committed to his studies.
“He was pleasant, personable and had a good group of friends. The family decided to enrol him at Ned Doman because of his sister’s positive experience at the school. His sister, Sandiswe, was with him when he died.”
Attwell said the department joined Uviwe’s family and friends in mourning his loss.