classmate killed OVER CHAIR

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The shortages of furniture at a school in Limpopo has led to one pupil being stabbed to death.

The incident happened at Jack Mavengwa High School in Khalava village outside Thohoyandou in Venda last week.

The deceased, Mathodzi Ramunenyiwa, 20, a Grade 12 pupil, was allegedly involved in a fierce quarrel at the school with another pupil, Phaphatshedzo Mbedzi, 21.

Seloam police spokesperson Elijah Livhuwani Nesale, said the boys were allegedly fighting over a chair.

He said Phaphatshedzo allegedly demanded a chair from Mathodzi.

Nesale said a fight ensued, resulting in Phaphatshedzo producing a knife and stabbing Mathodzi once in the chest.

He said Mathodzi fell to the ground and fellow students helped him to the staffroom, where teachers called an ambulance and the police.

"But by the time the ambulance and police arrived at the school, he was already dead," Nesale said yesterday.

"On hearing the news that Mathodzi was dead the pupils were so upset that they ran amok on the school premises, chasing Phaphatshedzo and baying for his blood.

He was later rescued by teachers who locked him up in the staffroom until the police arrived to arrest him.

Nesale said Phaphatshedzo appeared before the Thohoyandou magistrate's court on Friday on a charge of murder.

He was refused bail and the case was postponed to May 30.

The situation highlights the shortage of furniture in Limpopo schools and the ineffectiveness of the department of education's programme of "Safety and Beautiful School".

Since 1999 most of the pupils in the province have had to use their schoolbags, chairs and table frames and old tins to sit on during lessons.

Departmental spokesperson Ndo Mangala said the programme started in 2005 and that 98 percent of schools in the province now had new furniture.