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Johannesburg - The murder of a 17-year-old girl in Mohlakeng, west of Johannesburg, was indicative of the violence permeating South African society, the National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu) said on Tuesday.
"The killing must be regarded as 1/8an 3/8 unfortunate turn of events that should make us all hang our heads in shame," Nactu general secretary Narius Moloto said in a statement.
It was not enough to simply condemn the act. Society needed to reflect and ask itself difficult questions.
"Why is this happening? Why have we become such a violent nation, even at such an early age? Have parents and teachers abdicated their role as conveyors of sound morals and ethical teachings?"
A Grade Nine pupil appeared in the Randfontein Magistrate's Court on Monday in connection with the killing and was denied bail.
With South Africans of all ages exposed to violence, Moloto suggested this was, in extreme cases, manifesting itself in more violence.
"When you see police, you see violence around them... at Marikana, society was exposed, through television images, to violence, with police at the centre of it, and firing at protesting workers," he said.
"At political rallies, vitriol and heavy language is used to discredit political opponents... the list is long."
He appealed to parents, teachers, and religious leaders to find a solution to the cycle of violence destroying South Africa.
The 15-year-old girl was expected to appear in the Randfontein Magistrate's Court on Tuesday for the murder, The Star reported.
She is accused of stabbing the 17-year-old girl when they started fighting on Friday.
Both girls were pupils at Lukhanyo Secondary School, in Mohlakeng. - Sapa