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Cape Town – Three Mossel Bay high school pupils are expected to be charged with murder when they appear in court on Wednesday following the fatal stabbing of Hillcrest Secondary School Grade 9 pupil Khuselo Ndanda, 16, on Monday.

Police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said the three arrested pupils were between the ages of 16 and 18, in grades 8 and 12.

They will appear at the Mossel Bay Magistrate’s court on Monday.

The incident occurred during the first break, when the group of boys allegedly attacked the deceased several times with sharp objects, Pojie said. On his way to the principal’s office, Ndanda had collapsed.

He was rushed to hospital and died as a result of his injuries.

Pojie said following the incident, authorities had beefed up security at the school to observe and monitor the situation.

Western Cape Education Department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said: “The learners and educators who witnessed the event are understandably traumatised and have received counselling support.

‘‘We will continue to provide support today and are working with the authorities in terms of their investigation.

“This incident came after learners were informed of the death of another Grade 8 learner who had attended the school in the first half of the year.

‘‘She was allegedly murdered in a house robbery. Counselling was also provided that morning to learners.”

School governing body chairperson Russell Claassen said the institution was reeling after the deaths.

“When crime like this happens in a school setting, the last thing the school community needs is vicious attacks and panic-laden solutions roaming the public or social media paths.

‘‘This is the call of many individuals every time such a thing strikes a community. And we understand that.

‘‘This was a very unfortunate development and happened unexpectedly and without warning.

‘‘No educator at the school foresaw this,” he said.

Claasen said they rejected and condemned violence at schools.

“The school is currently experiencing a lot of trauma and we have to manage it with internal sources. We ask the community to carry us in their prayers.

‘‘Police are in charge of the investigation and it is already well advanced. Our condolences go out to the families of both the deceased learners,” Claasen said.

A memorial service will be held in the school hall at 2pm on Thursday.

Cape Times