Johannesburg – Violence in schools reached shocking levels when a 17-year-old learner repeatedly stabbed his teacher to death with a knife.
The Grade 10 learner from Ramotshere Moiloa High School in Dinokana village near Zeerust, North West, was arrested for allegedly stabbing Gadimang Daniel Mokolobate, who was invigilating during a geography paper written by matric learners on Thursday.
Department of Basic Education national spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga expressed shock at the savage attack and said “teachers are living in fear and it’s not acceptable”.
According to Mhlanga, the learner was reprimanded during the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) after he had jumped the queue on Wednesday.
He apparently returned the next day armed with the weapon.
“Today (Thursday) he didn’t come to school on time. He arrived at 11am and went into the classroom where other learners were writing.
“Two teachers were in the classroom invigilating. He approached the teacher (Mokolobate) who had reprimanded him yesterday (Wednesday) and stabbed him in the chest several times,” said Mhlanga.
The raging teen ran away shortly after stabbing his teacher but a security guard and other learners tackled him.
According to the department, in March the learner was given a warning for coming to school in possession of dagga.
Police confirmed that the teen was in police custody and would be charged with murder.
North West SAPS spokesperson Captain Sam Tselanyane said: “He was assessed by social workers and will be charged with murder. He will appear soon before the Lehurutshe Magistrate’s Court.”
The death of 24-year-old Mokolobate comes shortly after the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) was left shell-shocked when a learner allegedly drew a firearm on Wednesday and threatened to shoot a teacher at Eldorado Park Secondary School.
The teacher managed to confiscate the gun and handed it over to the police for investigation. The GDE condemned the act of violence at the institution, popularly known as Blue School.
MEC Panyaza Lesufi said: “We urge all our learners to refrain from acts of misconduct in schools, and call upon the school governing body to take decisive action on this matter.”
The department had a policy of zero tolerance to any form of misconduct. Anyone found to be transgressing this policy would be dealt with in line with South African Schools Act, which governs all schools, according to provincial department spokesperson Steve Mabona. The SA Democratic Teachers’ Union warned two months ago that violence against teachers perpetrated by learners at schools was escalating.