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Cape Town - A pupil at a top Cape high school is recovering after an attacker tried to rob him and then slit his throat.
The Grade 10 Parel Vallei pupil needed 18 stitches and six internal stitches.
Education MEC Donald Grant’s spokeswoman, Bronagh Casey, confirmed on Tuesday that “a Grade 10 learner was attacked on Monday afternoon after he was accosted by a man with a knife”.
“He sustained injuries to his neck area and has received stitches. His parents have laid a charge with the police.”
On Monday evening, Facebook images were posted showing the teen’s wound, followed by nearly a hundred comments expressing outrage.
The post was later withdrawn – it is understood this was because the boy is a minor, and his identity needed to be protected.
Neighbourhood watch spokeswoman in Somerset West reported: “I was informed… that a 15-year-old schoolboy from Parel Vallei High School was attacked this afternoon near the school in Adam Tas Road around 2.45pm.”
The street is about 500m from the school gates.
“The schoolboy, according to my report, was rushed to hospital where he apparently received 18 stitches plus six internal stitches.
“I am sending this out as I am very concerned because many children from our area in Sector 1 walk to and from Parel Vallei school daily, often alone.
“According to another neighbourhood watcher in our area, Parel Vallei school sent out a communication on Friday, February 7, to warn parents and children that two muggings had taken place near the school that morning – I am not sure if they managed to get away with cellphones and earpieces that young people use to listen to music.
“Please alert your children and ask them to walk together and to report anything suspicious.
“Perhaps some of the parents and patrollers in this area can keep an eye out at the start of the school day and at the end of the school day to look out for any suspicious characters,” she warned.
Casey said the school had reported an increase in crime against pupils walking home from school over the past two weeks.
“Pupils had been approached by strangers demanding their cellphones or possessions.
“The school has reported these incidents to the police and has asked for increased visibility around the school community after school hours. The school has not had any threats within the school itself,” Casey said.
A resident, Michael Day, an investigative author, wrote to the neighbourhood watch: “This schoolboy could so easily have been murdered; in fact the odds of him surviving such a brutal knife attack to the throat are quite small. It is actually quite hard for an attacker to miss the jugular, carotid or windpipe because these organs are so exposed and vulnerable to the blade.
“Therefore, had the perpetrator’s knife severed his carotid artery, he would almost certainly have bled to death on the spot. And although there can be no doubt that the boy was lucky to survive, we must not allow his extreme good fortune to blind us from the seriousness of this assault,” Day warned.
Police have confirmed the incident and are investigating.