He will never live out his full potential: Ennerdale pupil mourned

Luyanda Tshabalala standing with his father who fatally shot him outside his school in Ennerdale.
Luyanda Tshabalala standing with his father who fatally shot him outside his school in Ennerdale.

As the school held its own memorial service for Luyanda on Friday‚ the foundation took to Twitter to also honour the 16-year-old.

"Luyanda was an active young leader who took it upon himself to try and educate his fellow students about racism‚" the foundation wrote.

It posted a picture of Luyanda shaking the hand of Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom.

The foundation said it was saddened by Luyanda's death.

"We are heartbroken and saddened by the fact that this young man will now not be able to live out and fulfill his potential‚" it wrote.

Luyanda's father Sibusiso Emanuel Tshabalala told police he had been sleeping in his car after dropping his son off for evening classes at the school on Tuesday. He was woken by knocking on the window and‚ thinking he was in danger‚ discharged his firearm‚ hitting his son on the upper body.

When Tshabalala appeared in court on Thursday‚ his affidavit was read out.

In it‚ he said that after firing the weapon‚ Luyanda said: "Daddy‚ it's me."

He got out of the vehicle‚ went to his son and then rushed his son to get medical help but there was nothing that could be done to save his life.

"This is my first accident and a painful one‚" he tearfully told the court. He said the incident would haunt him for the rest of his life.

Tshabalala‚ 51‚ is employed as a security officer at the vehicle unit of the South African Police Service in Krugersdorp.

Following news of the teenager’s death‚ one of Luyanda’s teachers‚ Kurwyn Adams‚ took to Facebook to pen a moving tribute about how he would miss having him in his class.

"You had your life planned out every step of the way‚ with purpose and commitment demonstrated through every decision and action you made‚” he wrote.

“You respected your elders‚ your teachers‚ your friends and‚ most importantly‚ yourself. That smile right there was a permanent part of your life. You believed in education‚ and what it could do for you‚ and through that it motivated me beyond my inspiration to be a better teacher.”

He said Luyanda had transcended from a learner to a brother.

"Man‚ I am going to miss our constructive arguments in class‚ and the joy you had in correcting me when you thought I made a mistake. You transcended from a learner to someone I could deem my brother. You contributed tremendously to the school and moreover to every person you came into contact with‚" Adams said.

“You will live on‚ not because of your name or the situation but because of your heart."

The school‚ which posted on Facebook that Luyanda was deputy chairperson of its representative council of learners‚ described him as a "remarkable young man". 


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