By Theodorah Mawasha
MEDINGEN: The police in Bolobedu have opened a case of murder and attempted murder after a group of boys were attacked and another killed, at Magoletsa Secondary School in Meidingen village in Greater Letaba.
A grade 11 learner, identified as Mahlatse Malatji, who is the prime suspect, allegedly stabbed Sello Sekgota, Matome Sodi, and Matome Hlokwe who are matriculants on Monday, November 8.
It is further alleged that the suspect was repeatedly bullied and beaten at school and outside school premises, by the victims and had reported the matter to teachers, headmaster, tribunal officials, and the local police.
His cries however fell on deaf ears until he acted in retaliation on a fateful day.
The suspect’s mother Christina Malatji said that her son was let down by the authorities.
“He was turned away by Kgapane police, without any help, on multiple occasions. Had someone cared to listen and protected him, this could’ve been prevented. I don’t condone his actions, however, this is a wake-up call,” she said.
According to the community, the victims are known and popular for terrorizing the community of Mapaana, Medingen, and surrounding villages.
A concerned community member, Masilo Kgatle, said as the boys left school gates, the victims started throwing stones at the suspect and his companions in full view of teachers and other learners.
“The suspect and his friends always traveled in pairs out of fear of being attacked if found alone by one of the gang members” the victims,” said Kgatle.
” Police must act decisively and be visible in the school. Parents and stakeholders must enhance a healthy living culture, ” he stressed.
Tzaneen Voice contacted the headmaster, Andrew Hlokwe who refuted the claims that he was aware of bullying at the school involving the affected learners.
“I am not aware of any bullying or anything that may jeopardize or disrupt examinations. I was made aware of the incident like any other community member while at home. The school has a code of conduct and we enforce the rules stipulated therein. We cannot control how these learners behave outside the school premises, ” he said.
Meanwhile, the MEC for Education in Limpopo, Polly Boshielo has condemned the incident in the strongest of terms.
“It is so devastating that we have to lose a young life in this manner. We must all collaborate and enforce laws that prohibit learners from carrying weapons to school or communities,” she reiterated.
Kgapane police station communications officer Khomotso Hlokwe confirmed the incident and that all suspects have been arrested.
The Department of Social Development has dispatched a team of social workers to the school to assist learners and teachers to cope during the process of examination.