The state of safety and security in South African schools has been the talk of parliament after a man was stoned and stabbed to death by school children.
Thoriso Themane, 28, was attacked by a mob of learners in Flora Park in Polokwane, Limpopo last weekend, with a video of the incident circulated on social media. Initially, six pupils were arrested and three more were added in the course of the week.
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Bullying, robberies, and sexual violence are rampant is South African schools and, according to media reports, there have been numerous incidents of violence between pupils and teachers and among pupils.
A few days after Themane’s murder, a primary school student was stabbed by a classmate at Mateane Primary School in Diretsane, North West.
Police spokesperson captain Sam Tselanyane confirmed the news, saying: “It is alleged that around 10:30 a.m. two grade 5 learners were fighting and one of them was the suspect's friend.”
“The suspect allegedly tried to separate the two and as he was trying to separate them, the deceased attacked him,” he added.
The 13-year-old attacker was arrested and sent to a youth care centre for assessment.
Meanwhile, in January, a playground argument at Mpheko primary school in the Eastern Cape ended with a pupil allegedly stabbing another one to death.
Other incidents include a playground fight between four pupils at Hoerskool President in Ridgeway in Johannesburg, which was circulated on social media. The pupils were suspended.
The South African Government News Agency called the country’s schools "death traps" and reported that cabinet has vowed to stop school violence.
“Our children need safe environments of learning and we call on learners, educators, parents, and guardians to work together to protect our children socially, physically, and emotionally,” the cabinet said in a statement.