MURDERED:Nobuhle Khumalo died on her way to hospital.
MURDERED:Nobuhle Khumalo died on her way to hospital.

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Police in northern KwaZulu-Natal yesterday arrested and charged four teenagers for the murder of a school girl three weeks ago.

Nobuhle Khumalo, 17, from Ethangeni Combined School, was found in her locked bedroom last month.

She died on her way to hospital, a short while after she was allegedly assaulted by a group of girls aged between 17 and 24 who accused her of being an "arrogant virgin".

Her grandmother initially thought she had committed suicide after she found a bottle of pills in her bedroom.

However, postmortem results released yesterday showed that she died of head injuries.

"Police initially opened an inquest docket when the girl's granny suspected that she had committed suicide," said Captain Shooz Magudulela.

"However, postmortem results showed that she died of severe head injuries as a result of the assault."

Magudulela said that police were still investigating and he could not confirm that the girl's "virginity status" was the cause of the attack.

However, a teacher at the school accused police of dragging their feet in the investigation.

Samkeliso Chiliza, a senior teacher, said police should have made the arrests sooner.

"She was walking to the shops with her granny when a mob of mostly girls older than her attacked her, accusing her of thinking that she was special because she was a virgin.

"The group was jealous that she was still a virgin while girls her age were not and some are already mothers," said Chiliza.

Nobuhle's granny was also attacked when she tried to shield her granddaughter from the angry mob, Chiliza said.

He said the police were called to the scene and should have made the arrests then.

He said Nobuhle's granny suffered a broken arm trying to protect Nobuhle from the punches and stones being thrown during the attack.

"Nobuhle was all her granny had and now she is gone," Chiliza said.

"Something should be done to prevent this from happening again. The community is not aware of the importance of young girls not to engage in sex at a young age. They need to be educated."

He said Nobuhle travelled about 70km to get to school each morning.

Chiliza described her as a dedicated pupil, a humble girl who was proud of being a virgin.