Pupil sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for murdering North West teacher

01 March 2019 - 08:28 By Nico Gous
Teacher Gadimang Mokolobate was stabbed to death by a pupil who demanded food from him.
Teacher Gadimang Mokolobate was stabbed to death by a pupil who demanded food from him.
Image: Facebook/Gadimang Mokolobate Costa Papiki

The 17-year-old arrested and convicted for the murder of a North West teacher at his school was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Thursday.

The school pupil had pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing Gadimang Mokolobate, 24, who was a maths teacher at Ramotshere Secondary School near Zeerust.

The teenager became enraged after Mokolobate refused to give him a second plate of food in September 2018.

SowetanLIVE reported at the time that the learner went into a classroom where Mokolobate was monitoring a class writing exams and stabbed him with a butcher’s knife.

After his first court appearance‚ the boy’s grandmother, speaking from her house in Dinokana, said he normally went to school hungry as they often ran out of food.

She told Sowetan that the family survived on social grants for the boy‚ his younger sibling and herself.

“We are really struggling and some days he would go to school on an empty stomach.”

Thursday’s sentence took place in a week that saw the North West rocked by another school killing.

Earlier this week, a 14-year-old grade five pupil was stabbed to death by a 13-year-old classmate with a pair of scissors.

The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) said the child was certified dead on arrival at the Atamelang Clinic.

“As Sadtu we view this in an extremely serious light ... We have had numerous cases of violence reported in the recent past and just after the latest national safety summit,” provincial secretary George Themba said.

Provincial education MEC Sello Lehari said: “On behalf of the department I would like to convey our sincere condolences to the family ... This has been a very unfortunate incident. We never thought we could lose one of our learners like this. On March 7 and 8, as a department, we are going to hold a provincial safety seminar to deal with all safety issues in our school.”

The scissor stabbing came just days after a teacher was assaulted by a parent at the Leema Primary School at Tlhatlhaganyane, also in the North West.

Themba said the parent had accused the teacher of ill-treating her child.

TimesLIVE reported that the teacher was left bloodied and bruised after the parent assaulted her with an umbrella.