Mom’s trauma after son is killed
MARCELLE MANUEL arrived at her son’s school after hearing he had been stabbed and saw just a shoe and sock peeking out from under a blanket.
Grade 11 pupil Alan Manuel, 20, was killed while walking from Kasselsvlei High School on Monday afternoon to get his lift home.
A 17-year-old boy has since turned himself over to the police and has been arrested.
The two pupils had allegedly been arguing earlier.
Police said Alan had been stabbed three times in the back and had died at the scene.
Yesterday, when the Cape Times visited his family home in Kraaifontein, his mother was lying in bed in her dressing gown and surrounded by family.
“When I got to the school, all I could see was my child, covered (under a blanket).
“I saw the ambulance, the place was cordoned off with police tape. The community was standing all over.”
Manuel said she had tried to get to Alan’s body but was stopped by officials who had asked for his details, including his date of birth.
“I couldn’t even remember that.”
She had struggled to find someone to tell her what had happened to her son.
“I was looking for teachers, for the principal. There were so many mixed stories. Up until now I don’t even know the reason why.”
Manuel, who wiped away tears with a tissue, said she had taken medication for the shock and trauma she was suffering.
Alan’s grandmother, Ruth Petersen, said her daughter had relied on Alan to help out around the home.
“He is her anchor in life. He is such a sweet child, everybody loved him.”
The school was flooded by scores of parents and community members yesterday who demanded answers from principal Ronald Bantom.
They said the stabbing could have been avoided if action had been taken against the alleged aggressor earlier in the day.
The Cape Times was not allowed into the school or to speak to Bantom.
Also at Kasselsvlei were two pupils who were with Alan at the time of the stabbing.
The girls, who refused to be identified for fear of victimisation, said they had seen Alan being stabbed repeatedly.
They had also seen him being kicked. One said Alan had tried to move away but had eventually fallen over.
Alan’s class teacher, Eghsaan Joshua, described him as a “dedicated, honest and respectful young man”.
“Very pleasant, very popular. Especially among the girls. He was a people’s guy, everybody liked him. He had never been in any kind of trouble.”
Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant, said social workers and psychologists had provided counselling and support for pupils and teachers
Department officials had met school management to discuss whether further security was required.
Casey said the stabbing had not happened on school grounds and that the weapon, a knife, had been obtained after school.
Grant said: “My condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased. It is tragic to lose a life so young and in such a violent manner. It is also unfortunate that some children seek to use violence when dealing with conflict. There are other peaceful means in resolving conflict.”
Provincial police spokesman November Filander said the 17-year-old suspect was to appear at the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on a murder charge today.