Saturday, January 28, 2023

Top learner killed for shoes he wore to matric dance

South Africa

A Kimberley pupil was stabbed to death and robbed of a pair of shoes that he had proudly worn to his matric dance just two nights before.

It is believed that the Grade 12 pupil from Emmanuel Secondary School was walking with friends during the early hours of Sunday morning when they were approached by a group of men who were armed with knives.

The boy’s family, as well as the school, is still reeling in shock over the tragedy.

Relatives have urged the public to be on the lookout for the stolen shoes as they believe that this could lead the police to the suspects, who have yet to be arrested.

“It is a brown pair of size 9 Carvela shoes with a buckle.”

Joseph Ndlovu said on Monday that he had saved for months to buy the shoes for his eldest son, Boniface Ndlovu, to wear to his matric dance this past Friday.

“Boniface was so happy and proud to be able to wear his shoes. His mother is heartbroken and the entire family is traumatised,” said Joseph.

“Boniface was accompanying one his friends home at the time of the incident. We were sleeping when we received the news that he had been stabbed. By the time we arrived on the scene near the sports field, near Stock and Stock, he had already died. It is very painful to have to bury your own child.”

Joseph believes that the streets of Kimberley are not safe. “I don’t want my other two sons and two daughters walking in the streets after dark any more.”

He said they were still busy planning the funeral arrangements, although they are hoping to hold the service this weekend.

Boniface’s uncle, Andre van Rooyen, added that the rest of his nephew’s friends had managed to flee from the group of armed men.

“It was dark, so they said they could not remember much because everything happened so fast. Some of their shoes and belongings were also stolen in the process,” said Van Rooyen.

He added that according to the autopsy results, Boniface was stabbed twice in the heart.

“The stab wounds were fatal. There was no chance that he would have survived. Boniface was one of the top 10 academic pupils at his school. His dream was to join the South African National Defence Force and study engineering. He had submitted an online application to the University of Stellenbosch on Friday.”

The deputy principal of Emmanuel Secondary School, Gladys Poonawassy, said that counselling had been arranged for pupils at the school on Monday.

“Psychologists and social workers provided counselling to the teachers and pupils and a youth pastor from CRC church prayed over them and provided support. We are all shaken over what happened. The Grade 12s were supposed to write Geography on Monday but we have postponed the exams until Thursday.”

Poonawassy added that Boniface was one of the school’s top achievers.

“He was a hard worker who was dedicated to his studies and was extremely well behaved, well mannered, with a great personality. It is a huge loss for the school.”

She said that the matric dance that was held on Friday went smoothly, without any incident.

“The matrics did not even attend an after-party as they are busy writing exams.”

Poonawassy said a memorial service would be held at the school hall at 1pm on Thursday.

“Members from the school community and pupils will also attend and assist with the funeral.”

Police spokesperson Sergeant Majang Skalkie said that the Galeshewe police were looking for information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects.

Skalkie said that the deceased, aged 17 years old, was apparently approached by a group of 10 men who were armed with knives.

“The incident occurred on Sunday, March 10 between 12.30am and 1am at a sports ground at Stock and Stock in Galeshewe. The deceased was walking with four of his schoolmates from Homevale to Galeshewe when they were approached by approximately 10 unknown men armed with knives. They allegedly robbed them of their shoes, clothes and stabbed the deceased.”

Skalkie stated that the victim was stabbed twice in the chest and died on the scene.

“No suspects have been arrested yet.”

She appealed to the community to contact the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Steven Wax, on 082 469 1728 if they had any information relating to the incident.

“All information will be treated as strictly confidential.”

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