‘I thought I was dying’ — Soweto pupil relives stabbing incident

When Sivuyile de Waal was stabbed by his peer inside his school’s premises, his dream of being a lawyer flashed before his eyes. 

The 15-year-old pupil, who goes to PJ Simelane High School in Dobsonville, described April 12, the day when he was attacked, as one that he will never forget.

Fight started in the streets a day before, with victim’s friend

Speaking to Sunday World at his home, De Waal claimed that one of his schoolmates had a fight with his friend on Thursday, a day before he got stabbed. The fight happened in the township, and the locals stopped it.

According to De Waal, the altercation started because the perpetrator was allegedly stealing his friend’s beanies.

“The following day, carrying a knife, he took the fight to school. He began by striking my friend with a fist. I intervened to support my friend. That’s when [my attacker] pulled out the knife and stabbed me,” said the recovering pupil.

He said he noticed that he had been harmed when he saw blood on his clothes. He then ran in the direction of the school library.

“That was the last time I remembered anything around me. I was already out of breath and getting dizzy. Two ladies who were there ran to help me. I thought I was dying.”

He declared that he is prepared to return to school and that he has already forgiven the offender.

“I just need to heal my wounds, I’m fine.”

His mother, 52-year-old Ruth de Waal said she received a phone call saying she needs to rush to the nearest clinic.

Distraught mother speaks

“The person on the other side of the phone asked if I was Sivuyile’s mother. Then they proceeded to say I needed to rush to the clinic. My mind started racing because I knew my son would be at school,” said the unemployed mother of two.

While recalling that moment, Ruth got emotional. She revealed that she was told to wait at the clinic while her last-born son was taken to the emergency ward.

“When I looked at him, I saw that things were bad, anything could have happened. They had put an oxygen mask on him because he couldn’t breathe. All I could do was pray that he survives,” said Ruth.

Ruth, who said she struggles with her health, stated that she had to be strong for her son.

“He was later transferred to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, where [his wounds were] stitched.

“God strengthened me in that moment! However, his grandmother got sick after that phone call, she is better now. As a family, we are still in shock. I never thought I’d be in a situation like that.”

No grudge against perpetrator

Ruth stated that since she raised her son in a religious environment, all she hopes for is harmony between her family and that of the offender.

“We don’t know how far the case is. The last time we were updated about it they’d said the perpetrator’s family wants to come and apologise. They have not done that. We are grateful for his life.

“I wouldn’t want my child to be deprived of education because of this. I’m glad he says he has also forgiven.”

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