School boy murder video-taped
Video footage of the gruesome and agonising death of a Pretoria high school boy is being distributed among pupils on cellphones.
Donald Molefe, 16, was stabbed to death at Berea Park Independent School last week during an argument over a pencil.
His death was filmed on cellphones by his friends and is being circulated on YouTube.
A video of the rape of a mentally handicapped Soweto schoolgirl was widely distributed in April.
The murder footage shows the entire fight between Donald - a Grade 10 pupil - and his attacker in the school playground on Wednesday. It shows him as he collapses, bleeding from five stab wounds in the back, chest and arms.
Donald's aunt, Diane Teba, yesterday spoke of the family's anguish over her nephew's death. She said the family was "devastated" by the news that the murder had been filmed.
"He died at the hands of a close friend and now this [the video]," she said.
Teba said Donald's mother was beginning to come to terms with his death when a relative, who had come to pay her respects at the weekend, told her the video of her son dying was being circulated in several townships in Pretoria.
"Instead of stopping the fight, the pupils saw it as an entertainment they could document and share. It is shocking," she said.
Teba said the family could not understand what led to Donald being killed. She said they had been told that the killer had hidden the knife in his underwear.
The murder once again calls into question safety at schools.
The SA Council of Educators last November released a report that painted a grim picture of school safety. It revealed that 1.8million pupils had been victims of school violence.
But this figure is believed to represent only the tip of the iceberg, with many incidents going unreported because victims fear revenge attacks. Some of those assaulted choose not to report the incident because they have been failed previously by ineffective reporting systems.
According to the study, 30% of the pupils interviewed said it was easy to acquire a knife while 10% said it was easy to get a gun.
Equal Education chairman, Yoliswa Dwane, said urban schools were more likely to experience high levels of violence and that both government and private schools would have to do more to ensure pupils' safety.
Gauteng Education Department spokesman Charles Phahlane said that in 2010 the department launched its school safety strategy, which resulted in 500 schools being fenced and 6000 safety patrollers being deployed to 1602 priority schools.
"We conduct unannounced raids with the police during which we confiscate knives and drugs. Since the programme's inception we have seen a dramatic improvement [in school security]," Phahlane said.
However, the province's school safety programme means little to Donald's grieving family.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale said a 15-year-old had been released into the custody of his parents and would appear in court today on a murder charge.