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'ball' kills pupil

By unknown | Feb 25, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

The escalating rate of school violence in the country has claimed the life of yet another pupil in North West.

What is even more baffling is that the murder weapon was a rugby ball - which was allegedly used to assault the pupil repeatedly in his stomach.

Karabo Lephadi, 16, a Grade 10 pupil at Wonderfontein High School in Carletonville, was allegedly assaulted by a group of white schoolmates on Tuesday.

He was allegedly attacked on the school's rugby field during practice. Karabo was subsequently admitted to the Lenmed Clinic in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg.

He died two days later, on February 21, according to a letter his parents wrote to the North West department of education.

"It has been really hard for the family. Yes, my son was critically injured at school on Tuesday.

"He died two days later," said Karabo's father, Samuel Lephadi, a magistrate.

Lenasia police spokesman Captain Mbulaheni Netshivhodza said a case of attempted murder was initially opened.

"Now that the victim has passed away we have registered a case of murder.

"Because the crime was committed in Carletonville it will be transferred back to the area. The police there will take over the investigation," Netshivhodza said.

Carletonville police spokesman Constable Busi Manyise said she would only check the case today.

When Sowetan contacted the school on Friday a receptionist reneged on her promise to put us through to the deputy principal said it would be better if we spoke to the Department of Education.

Sowetan went to the school. On arrival a female official said the principal was available but when we entered the offices we were told the principal had already left.

A boy who was allegedly at practice on the day said: "Karabo was not beaten up. He fainted."

Other pupils at the school said they were told to say that Karabo had fainted

"We did not see what happened but we were told that he had fainted," said one of them.

"Why don't we just tell the truth?" asked another.

"No, remember what the teachers and the principal said? Do not talk to the media," a grade 12 pupil warned.

As Sowetan was talking to the pupils at the school' s gate, some teachers came out and told them to stop talking.

Department of Education spokesman Charles Raseala said: "We received a letter from the pupil's parents. They claim that he was attacked on the rugby field by a group of white boys.

"We have launched an investigation and will be working with the police to try to establish the facts."


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