By Keletso Mkwanazi

The South African Police Services are investigating a murder case at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria after the death of Ntokozo Xaba who was found dead at a university residence. According to police, Xaba, 21, was stabbed to death at Ekhaya Junction campus residence on Thursday.

Gauteng SAPS spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Sello said that Xaba was allegedly drinking with friends, including her ex-boyfriend Ngcebo Thusi. “The friends allegedly left the two together,” said Sello, adding that Thusi appeared in court on Monday February 6 on charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice.

National Prosecuting Authority in Gauteng Lumka Mahanja said the matter will appear in the Pretoria magistrate’s court next week, “The case against Thusi was postponed to February 13 for the state to confirm his address and profile before  bail proceedings,” said Mahanja.

The Commission of Gender Equality (CGE) on Monday said it was “saddened by this senseless killing” and further said that it would consult the Tshwane University of Technology’s management after the death incident.

“In the past three years, the CGE has conducted investigations to assess gender transformation and GBV at universities and technical and vocational education and training [TVET] colleges to ascertain the safety of women on campuses and residences,” said GDE, adding that more than 15 vice-chancellors appeared before the commission to help it understand gender-related problems at their institutions.

“One of the numerous recommendations we made was for the department of higher education and training to institute policies and procedures to deal with gender-based violence at institutions of higher learning,” said the commission.

“We implore the criminal justice system to speedily process GBV-related cases, deny perpetrators bail and ensure a high number of convictions.” Said the CGE CEO Phelisa Nkomo.

Following the incident, the minister of higher education and training Blade Nzimande announced the launch of an initiative to tackle gender-based violence (GBV).

Nzimande offered condolences to Xaba’s family together with TUT and he had directed higher health to join in efforts with TUT’s wellness team to provide the necessary psychosocial support to the family and affected students.

“This issue is not only devastating for survivors of violence and their families but also entails significant social and economic costs and has dire implication to the post-school education and training [PSET] sector,” said Nzimande.

“As part of dealing with gender-based violence in our institutions, I will be launching the ‘Transforming MENtalities’ initiative, which will be a multi-stakeholder partnership within the PSET [sector], with a particular focus on mobilizing men to be part of championing a world free of gender biases, stereotypes, violence and discrimination,” Explained Nzimande.

Grade 10 learner fatally stabbed

By Nthabiseng Thalanyane

A 17 year old grade 10 learner lost his life just when his father was on a verge of taking him out of his school due to incidents of violence at Geluksdal Secondary School.

It is alleged that Shaun Mpela was stabbed after a fight broke up when three grade 10 leaners pepper sprayed others leaners in class, in Geluksdal in the East Rand.

The leaner and the other schoolmates asked the perpetrators to stop what they were doing,  but the perpetrators threatened that they will ‘meet ´after school. Apparently, the perpetrators alerted elder gang members aged 30-35 who waited for Mpela and his friends outside the school grounds and attacked them.

The suspects are known and one of them has been arrested when the learners took to the streets of Geluksdal searching for the other two suspect who were still on the run. The learners vandalized the house where one of the suspects was found hiding. The deceased’s father, Seun Mahlangu said he knows of three criminal cases that were reported to local police where his son was stabbed, assaulted and threatened by the same gang.

The father also added that this is not the first incident to happen, “in September last year I had to fetch my son from school because the gang members were waiting for him outside the school premises threatening his life”.

He told The Telegram that he had recently received an acceptance letter from the FET College, after he had decided to take him out of the school. Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane visited the school. He also went past the properties  that were vandalised by the enraged learners.

 Chiloane told The Telegram that he did not condone the behaviour of the leaners and said it was  unfortunate the incident hurt the pupils. “They felt that we had failed them and now they want to deal with the situation. However,  let us allow the law to take its course.

 We have dispatched social workers to assist the children with their grieve and trauma, it is  not pleasant to lose a peer. School teachers and parents must instil discipline these racial tensions and unrest are not good for anyone we must unite and protect our schools”.

Gauteng Education Department spokeperson Steve Mabona says they will ensure those involved in the death of the learner are brought to book. Alleged racial tensions are partly to be blame for the violence.

Apparently, some parents are perpetrating racial tensions at the school. Geluksdal is predominantly a former coloured and Indian area.

 Mabona said unfair treatment at schools would not be tolerated ”we really strongly condemn any acts of misconduct by leaners at our schools and call upon parents to work with us to make sure that our children understand that when they go to school they are there to fight”.

The Gauteng portfolio committee on community safety has expressed concern over violence at schools across the province. The chairperson of the committee Bandile Masuku says “we are concerned about the violence in a couple of areas and we understand what are the trends that were derived by the department of education and community safety to deal with school safety”.

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