Fatal faction fighting forces school closure

22 August 2018 - 12:00
By Jeff Wicks
Faction fighting has led to two pupils being stabbed at Masakhaneni High School.
Image: 123RF/paylessimages Faction fighting has led to two pupils being stabbed at Masakhaneni High School.

The Masakhaneni High School outside Durban has been closed as vicious faction fighting – which has already claimed the lives of two pupils – spilled onto the playground.

Education department spokesman Kwazi Mthethwa said a decision was taken to suspend teaching and learning at the school‚ south of Durban‚ until underlying tension in the community abated.

“We need to establish what is happening in the community before we allow teaching and learning to take place because the last thing we want is to allow an opportunity for revenge‚” he said.

“This is an issue where faction fighting has spilled over into a school. This means a school is the theatre where this whole mess is playing out‚” he added.

Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said on Tuesday two pupils were killed in a knife fight.

“Two pupils were stabbed and injured at a local high school. They were taken to hospital where they died on arrival. The motive of the killing is unknown at this stage. Kwamakhutha police are investigating two counts of murder. No arrests have been made.”

Mthethwa added that they had engaged the management of the school and the governing body‚ with a community meeting slated for the weekend.

“The situation is tense and it would seem that the community is up in arms and they feel the department is not doing enough to intervene‚” he said.

“The issue of the safety of schools should be looked at holistically. It cannot be only the department’s burden. We need the collective buy-in of the parents and the traditional leadership in this matter.”