I killed in self-defence, says Forest High pupil accused of murder

Family members of Daniel Bakwela leave court after the appearance of the pupil who allegedly killed him.
Family members of Daniel Bakwela leave court after the appearance of the pupil who allegedly killed him.

The 20-year-old pupil accused of stabbing his schoolmate to death has told the Johannesburg magistrate's court that he acted in self-defence.

Mohamed Mwela, a Forest High School pupil who allegedly stabbed and killed Daniel Bakwela, 16, and injured two other pupils, appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate's court yesterday.

Mwela told the court during his bail application that he intended to plead not guilty on charges of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Mwela, a grade 11 pupil, speaking through his lawyer Mudi Mavhengeni, said he was alone and under attack when he stabbed Bakwela on Monday.

"I had come under physical attack by the members of Stouter Kinders gang as they are called. The deceased dropped the knife that he had in his hand after I had hit him with a stone.

"I then picked up the said knife as I was surrounded by the members of the above-mentioned gang and stabbed one of these gang members as I tried to make a way so that I can run for my life," Mwela said in an affidavit read to court.

Mwela said the gang members chased him as he ran back to the school premises.

"Other members of this gang came from the front as I was running away and I stabbed the second member of this gang when he tried to hit me. Another member then jumped, trying to kick me as I was proceeding to run away and I then also stabbed him and then managed to get inside the school [yard]," he said.

He asked his bail application to be considered as a matter of urgency as he was still a pupil in the process of writing his grade 11 examinations.

On Tuesday, witnesses who spoke to Sowetan said the knife used had fallen from Bakwela during a scuffle.

Yesterday, safety at school was also brought under the spotlight as magistrate BC Molwana asked what was going to happen to Mwela if he was granted bail.

Molwana said Mwela's safety was paramount and he wanted to know if any arrangements were made for him to continue writing his June examinations.

"His bail application will not only affect his family but we need to know how will it affect his position at school and his community.

"I need to know if the department will allow him to write his examinations and also if he will be transferred to another school?" Molwana said.

Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona, who was asked to take the stand in the matter, said Mwela would be given an opportunity to write his exams but the department would have to assess the situation regarding his return to the school.

Bakwela's family said if Mwela was allowed back to the community he "will kill again".

Mwela was remanded in custody until Monday.

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