from AKANI CHAUKE in Johannesburg, South Africa
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE seemingly inherent culture of violence prevalent among South African schoolchildren has claimed the life of a Zimbabwean teacher after a student in Grade 8 (Form 1) stabbed an educator after he failed his examinations.
The 15-year-old, who cannot be named as he is still a minor, has appeared in court for the alleged murder of the mathematics teacher, Kingston Vhiya, in Kuruman in the Northern Cape.
Witnesses say the incident happened last week ahead of schools re-opening but the teenager could not proceed to the next grade because of low marks.
He allegedly vented his frustration on the teacher, with tragic consequences.
The alleged murder was committed on Tuesday when the student demanded to meet Vhiya outside his home on Tuesday night. A witness said the boy had blamed his low marks on Vhiya.
It is alleged the boy ran amok, smashing windows prompting the teacher to go out.
The boy suddenly pulled out at a knife, it is alleged, and stabbed the now-deceased.
Fellow teachers overpowered the teenager leading to his arrest.
Geoffrey van der Merwe, Northern Cape Education spokesman, denounced the incident.
“We condemn this incident in the strongest terms and mourn the untimely death of the teacher,” van der Merwe said.
Colleagues paid tribute to the Zimbabwean teacher as a dedicated professional.
Regional spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Dimakatso Mooi, confirmed a case of murder has been opened.
The suspect will be back in court on Monday.
According to research last year, more than 20 percent of teachers believe schools are unsafe owing to armed students.
– CAJ News