Nelspruit - An Mpumalanga teenager, convicted of stabbing a fellow pupil who reportedly bullied his younger brother, will spend three months in prison after failing to raise R600 to pay for a fine.
Zwakele Lucky Mathebula, 18, of Langeloop Trust near the Swaziland border, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm when appeared in the Tonga Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
He admitted to stabbing Grade 12 pupil Glen Lubisi,18, four times with a knife at Lovunywa High School in Langeloop on February 10 this year.
Senior magistrate Sam Nkuna sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment with an option to pay a R3600 fine, which was suspended for five years.
“Boy, if you want to go home today you have to pay R600. If you fail to do that you will be locked up and spend three months in prison,” said Nkuna.
Nkuna said that meant if Mathebula was locked up for three months he would not have to pay the R3000 balance or spend 15 months in prison.
“However, you won't be allowed to be found committing a similar offence for the next five years,” he said.
Mathebula's legal representative Moses Phakula told the court that his client admitted to stabbing Lubisi four times after Lubisi reportedly bullied Mathebula's younger brother.
State prosecutor Sebotse Rapelwana told the court that the accused was a first offender but should be given a sentence that would teach him a lesson.
“You are young but that doesn't give you a right to carry dangerous weapons to school,” Rapelwana said.
Mathebula was taken into custody after failing to raise the R600.