The family of Siyanda Malinga said they are still trying to make sense of his untimely passing. They said violence was uncharacteristic of him. The 15-year-old was described as a jolly boy who had a humble spirit.
Murdered by bullies outside the school
The Grade 8 pupil from Oakdale Secondary School in Ennerdale, Johannesburg, was brutally murdered by a group of bullies on Thursday morning.
The said bullies allegedly demanded a R5 protection fee, saying failure to pay it means the money will accumulate interest.
On Friday, World visited Malinga’s home in Lawley township, Johannesburg, where he lived with his father and four siblings.
He lost his mother recently
Speaking on behalf of the family, Jabulile Tshabalala said Siyanda lost his mother in October 2022. As such, his departure is adding more pain to a wound that has not fully healed.
“The family is still trying to pick up the pieces and adjusting to not having a mother in the house. This is even more devastating,” said Tshabalala.
Tshabalala said they do not know how the suspects attacked Siyanda because he was a happy child. “I don’t know how they attacked him because he was always happy and did not like to associate himself with bad things. I guess the saying ‘God takes the noble ones’ is true,” she added.
Please help with burial costs
She further pleaded with the Department of Education to lend a helping hand. The family needs help to take Siyanda’s body to Msinga in KwaZulu-Natal for burial.
“As you can see, we are struggling in this home. No one is employed, so if the department could help us with all the funeral arrangements,. We want to give our child a dignified send-off.”
After a brief meeting with the school management, Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane stepped out to a raging group of residents, calling for him to fire the deputy principal.
The ward councillor called for calm before Chiloane addressed the community.
Chiloane said the way they lose the children is what worries the community and the education authorities.
Condolences to the family
“We want to send our condolences to the family. We also applaud the educators who took the initiative to rush the child to a health facility. This was because the emergency services did not respond,” he said.
As an interim solution, Chiloane said they will secure the school by planting security guards in and around the school.
“The team is here, and next week we will be building the fence that was destroyed at the back of the school. At night, there will be patrols with dogs to guard the school and infrastructure,” he added.
Chiloane urged parents to instill discipline in their children at home.
“We are not seeking to persecute any child who has been accused of bullying. We want those kids to be brought to us, and we will put them through a rehabilitative process.”