Pupil stabbed to death

Grade 8 pupil Justin Abrahams was stabbed by two boys, aged 15 and 19.

Mount View High School is in shock after a Grade 8 pupil was fatally stabbed in his neck, minutes after he left school last Tuesday, November 8.

Justin Abrahams, 16, from Hanover Park, was on his way home, after 3pm, when he got into an argument with another boy.

The boy allegedly stabbed Justin in his neck with a sharp object. He was taken to Hanover Park Day Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

According to Lance Goliath, Mitchell’s Plain Cluster spokesman, two boys, aged 15 and 19, were arrested for the killing.

They appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on a charge of murder on Thursday November 10. The two have been remanded in custody and will reappear on Monday November 21.

Justin attended Blomvlei Primary School and started his first year at Mount View High School this year.

Blomvlei Primary School principal Dawn Petersen said the school was extremely sad about Justin’s death, especially since they had had a good relationship with his mother, Corinne.

There were times that we had to use our code of conduct to discipline him, but there were days when Justin was an absolute gentleman and you just wanted to hug him” said Ms Petersen.

“Justin’s mother has a close relationship with the school. She helped the school a lot with the poverty alleviation project. She was one of the parents who was always very interested in her child and always did the best that she could,” she said.

Ms Petersen told Athlone News how difficult it was to teach in such a tense environment.

“The abnormal has become the normal. We need to actually move beyond this and pretend that we are robots. We just have to do things that must be done because if we don’t do it and emotion takes over, we will be miserable and sad in our workplace,” she said.

Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said the incident had traumatised all concerned and that the Western Cape Education Department’s Safe Schools division had arranged for trauma counselling.

“The police are patrolling the area to increase visibility. Mount View is applying a school safety plan, in line with policy, including the deployment of safety volunteers. The difficulty here is that the incident happened off school premises. The department adopts a “whole of society” approach to dealing with learner safety, where all role-players collaborate to ensure safety in their different spheres of influence, at schools, and in the community generally. Community safety and crime control does, however, reside with the South African Police Services,” said Ms Shelver.

Merle Thomas, secretary of Mount View High School, said the school was in shock. “As a school community, we mourn his death and are not able to deal with the media as yet,” she said.

Colonel Dennis Abels, Philippi police station commander, condemned the killing. He sent a stern warning to those who found themselves on the wrong side of the law, saying they would be brought to book. He also thanked his officers for their swift response to the incident.

Hanif Loonat, the cluster chairman of the Mitchell’s Plain CPF, said: “It is unfortunate that we are losing youth like this especially in Hanover Park. In the last month, three youths have been killed. Most of them are not affiliated to gangs. The community is fearful for their children’s lives. Innocent kids are being killed to get a message across to other gangs. This has to stop. We cannot accept it.”