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Rustenburg - The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in the North West on Sunday condemned the stabbing of a Grade 12 school pupil at Kebonang Secondary School in Mmabatho, allegedly by another pupil, describing it as an "abhorrent and despicable act of violence".  

"Such level of violence that nearly robbed the victim of his life on the eve of matric exams suggest that some learners are not focused on the crucial task at hand, hence the alleged perpetrator resorted to outrageous criminality that has the potential to destroy his future," Sanco North West chairperson Paul Sebegoe said in a statement.

According to department of education spokesperson Elias Malindi, the pupil, aged 23, was stabbed six times by another Grade 12 pupil, aged 21, on Thursday following a fight between the two.

 Sebegoe called for education authorities to probe lapses in the implementation of the school safety plan protocols and take tough action.

“They must evaluate whether security personnel at the school had the capacity to prevent the incident and whether the school management had taken necessary steps to diffuse the conflict before it escalated and resulted with one learner being stabbed,” he said. 

This followed allegations that there was "physical fighting" after school between the two pupils who were subsequently reprimanded by security personnel employed at the school to stop fighting. "The fighting reportedly continued despite the earlier intervention reprimand". 

"Malindi said that it was reported that the other learner rushed out of the school, came back with a knife, and chased the learner who tried to separate them and stabbed him. He was taken for safety at the staff room after securities stepped in on time and then rushed to Bophelong Hospital after police and an ambulance were summoned. Malindi said that the stabbed learner was stitched, later discharged, and managed to report to school on Friday."

Sebegoe said Sanco would have called for the pupil to be summarily dismissed, but given that it was exam time, Sanco opted to allow the law to take its course, because of "our confidence in the criminal justice system to ensure that justice is done". 

“We welcome the disciplinary action to be instituted against the learner and the prompt intervention by the MEC for basic education Wendy Matsemela, who visited the school on Friday to appraise herself of the situation,” he said.

African News Agency (ANA)