Angry parents of learners who attend school at Oakdale Secondary in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg, blocked the school entrance on Friday, demanding the department of education to fire the deputy principal.
This follows the gruesome murder of a Grade 8 pupil at the school, Siyanda Malinga, 15. He was stabbed to death on Thursday morning by a group of bullies who demanded R5.
On Friday, the parents blocked the gate of the school, hoisting placards written, “We blame the deputy principal”.
Bullying getting out of control
According to the parents, acts of bullying are the norm at the school.
Hilda Moeketsi, who is Malinga’s cousin, said her cousin was bullied together with his friends.
“This started on Monday, and when he got home, Siyanda reported the matter. We came to the school on Tuesday. We spoke to the deputy principal; however, nothing was done.
“The bullies demanded that they pay them so they could protect them,” said Moeketsi.
Overpowered the bullies
Moeketsi said on Wednesday the bullying escalated to a physical fight. The deceased and his friend overpowered the bullies during the fight.
“When he got off the bus on [Thursday] morning, the boy who had been bullying them was waiting for them. And he stabbed Siyanda.
“I cannot even think straight; we are beyond hurt. But we want justice for Siyanda,” she added.
She said they are appealing to anyone who can assist them financially. They need assistance to take Siyanda’s body to KwaZulu-Natal, where he will be buried.
Brenda Johnson, a community activist and patroller, said they are heartbroken about the situation. She added that they are actively assisting the Department of Education.
Call for parents to monitor their children
“I am happy that the department has already brought in social workers. I plead with the parents to be a part of their children’s day-to-day lives.
“It’s time we ensured that integrity and discipline were brought back to our schools,” said Johnson.
Gauteng police spokesman Lt. Col. Mavela Masondo said an arrest has been made in the case.
“An 18-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with murder. He is expected to appear before Lenasia magistrate’s court on Monday. More suspects might be arrested as the police investigation continues,” he said.