Fourteen-year-old Naeema Marshall who was killed, allegedly by a 15-year-old boy, on Monday, has been remembered as a bright pupil who always greeted her teachers.
On Tuesday, Beacon Hill Secondary School, where Naeema was a Grade 9 pupil, observed a moment of silence in the school hall, where pupils shared memories of her.
Acting deputy principal Shariesa Clarke said she would remember Naeema’s smile.
“(Tuesday) was a very sad day for Beacon Hill Secondary School.”
“We are going through a tough time because we don’t regard our learners as a number, but human beings.
“We care for our learners and our wish is to see them finish Grade 12.
“Our motto is ‘Enter to learn, Live to serve’ and this learner’s life was cut short in a brutal way. We started a term with sad news.
“This morning we had a programme for the learners where we had motivational speakers to give them encouragement and hope, and we had people who came to pray in our school to protect our learners and our community; we are trying the best that we can under the circumstances.
She said the principal had visited Naeem’s parents to offer them support.
Some pupils had been referred for counselling.
“Marshall was a lovely learner and one of our top netball players.
“She was a very respectful learner, I didn’t have the opportunity to teach her, but whenever she saw me she would always smile.
“I will remember her for that smile and being so respectful. And when we had fund-raisers, she was always excited to attend the surf walk and partake in the character days that we have at school on Fridays.
“Even academically she was a strong learner, her future was so bright for it to be just taken like that is heartbreaking,” said Clarke.
A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the incident and was expected to appear in court once charged, police spokesperson FC van Wyk said on Wednesday.
Mitchells Plain councillor Nigel Williams said: “I think we clearly have a problem in society, this is a very senseless act. A young girl’s life was taken for saying ‘no’. This tells us there is something wrong with society.
“I would emphasise the point that it also comes to how a boy experiences a girl. Of course the parents will say when our children are in the house (they) act differently than when they are outside, but I think we need to start sitting our children down and teaching them about life.”
“The community was in disbelief because this was someone who was active in sports, and we all know sport is something that brings people together.
“She was a well-known child... during our campaign in the elections, she was a very active and an outspoken child,” he said.
Provincial education department spokesperson Unathi Booi said: “This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family in this very difficult period. The district has offered counselling support to the school.”