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Pupil killed in row over pencil

Crime & Courts

Pretoria -

An argument over a pencil led to the death of a 16-year-old pupil at a city school after he was allegedly stabbed by a friend five times in the chest, back and arm.

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It is alleged the pair had an argument in class on Tuesday at Berea Park Independent High School over a pencil, and the quarrel spilt over to the next day.

A pupil at the school said on Wednesday Donald Molefe was attacked by a fellow pupil during the second break and stabbed five times in the upper body.

Another pupil, Lefang Sebothoma, was also stabbed in the arm when he tried to stop the fight, and was taken to hospital.

Donald died on the scene shortly after the arrival of paramedics.

“They started arguing in class and continued during the second break when they were outside. Donald was stabbed a number of times,” said the pupil. The learner added that the pair were friends, and other pupils were surprised when they saw them fighting.

The pupils said they were all told to go back to their classes after the incident, and later told to go home. Some pupils were very emotional when the Pretoria News arrived at the school yesterday, with many of them visibly shaken.

They discussed what could have led to the incident. Some felt Donald was stabbed because the suspect had apparently been dumped by his girlfriend and that he was was venting his anger on Donald.

Donald’s devastated mother had to be escorted by some teachers who held her as she went to view her child’s body, which was covered by a silver blanket.

School principal Izak Theron said no teachers saw the incident, and they were alerted only after Donald had been stabbed.

“All we know is that the fight was about a pencil, and when we got to where the incident took place, we found Donald lying on the ground,” said Theron.

He said the school was shocked by the incident, and they were surprised how the suspect managed to enter the school premises with a knife, avoiding detection at the gate where pupils are searched.

“We do regular searches at the gate, so he must have smuggled it [the knife] in somehow,” said Theron.

He said the school was going to organise counsellors to help the staff and pupils deal with the ordeal.

Police spokeswoman Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale said Donald was certified dead at the scene.

“The second pupil was taken to the Tshwane District Hospital,” she said.

An officer close to the investigation said Donald was stabbed twice on the right side of his chest, once in the back and left side, and again on the arm. “It is believed that the suspect came to school carrying a knife with which to continue the fight. It is still unknown how he managed to get into the school premises with it,” the officer said.

A case of murder has been opened at Pretoria Central police station.

The suspect, who was arrested, was to be released into his parents’ custody. He was to appear at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court today.

Pretoria News

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