Riot Hlatshwayo

The policeman who fired the shot that killed a 17-year-old pupil in a classroom has been arrested and charged with murder.

He was arrested by members of the Independent Complaints Directorate, a police watchdog, and appeared in court yesterday.

Police inspector Kringer Jimmy Kubayi, 47, was not asked to plead when he made a brief appearance in a packed Mhala magistrate's court in Mpumalanga.

He was released on his own recognisances pending his next appearance on March 16.

Kubayi, who joined the police in 1989, was in a group of officers who allegedly stormed the Grade 11 classroom at Manukose High School at Merry People Stream near Thulamahashe last Friday.

They were looking for two pupils who were believed to be in possession of a firearm.

Most of the pupils in the classroom jumped out of the windows in fear of the armed policemen.

Among the fleeing pupils were Clearance Dlamini, 18, and Cry Nxumalo, 18, who the police were allegedly chasing.

Kubayi allegedly fired a shot that ricocheted off a wall and hit pupil Sedi Khoza in the face, killing him.

The police pursued the fleeing pupils and eventually arrested the two they were looking for. They also arrested two villagers, including a security guard who had been allegedly involved in the possession of a firearm.

Eddy Tibane, Jackson Mathebula, Dlamini and Nxumalo appeared in court on charges of possessing a firearm. Police recovered the illegal firearm after one of the four suspects allegedly pointed it out on Sunday.

The suspects were remanded in custody pending their court appearance next month.