MPUMALANGA, South Africa – A grade 11 pupil from Shobiyane Secondary School in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, has lost his eye after he was allegedly stabbed with a bottle by a fellow pupil over milk from the school-feeding scheme on Wednesday.
Benedict Ngomane,18, who wants to be a lawyer, was visited by Mpumalanga MEC for education Bonakele Majuba on Friday at Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mbombela where he told Sowetan that he was stabbed by a class monitor after they had an argument over the milk at school.
“It was during break time when the woman who serves us food brought milk and the monitor told us that we have to share by four and I argued, saying it’s small, at least two people should share. He klapped me and pushed me against the door.
“When I wanted to go to the store outside the school he waited for me at the gate. He asked me what I was doing outside the class and took two bottles, smashed them and stabbed me three times in the face; that’s where I lost my right eye. A learner called a local man who transported me to the hospital,” said Ngomane. Killings in schools not shocking
Ngomane said his disappointment came when the school didn’t want to help take him to the hospital.
“The school decided to side with the person who stabbed me after he lied that I was carrying a knife. They also shouted at the other learners who organised a transport for me, saying they should have left me at the school,” said Ngomane.
Ngomane’s uncle Nyiko Manzini said they were sad as the family because their child lost his eye in a place where he was supposed to be safe.
“His wish is to be a lawyer. He left for school and we thought he was studying towards his dream but at a school he lost his eye. It’s sad because the argument was seen inside the school but no one bothered to intervene and call the children to order which led to the stabbing of my nephew,” said Manzini.
Manzini said they were waiting for Ngomane to be discharged so that they can open a criminal case.
“The learner who stabbed my nephew is regarded as a hero in the school, he is continuing to study whereas our child has lost an eye and is in hospital. We are going to open a case as soon as he is well to give the police his full account of the incident,” said Manzini.
MEC Majuba said that violence at schools is a cause for concern in the department.
“We condemn any form of violence that is continuing to take a toll at schools. We just had a school safety indaba where we are trying to keep our schools safe.
“We think that this violence in schools emanates from communities and is transferred to school. We appeal to communities to help us fight this scourge of violence in schools,” Majuba said.
“As we speak we are investigating the cause of the incident and for now we have sent psychologists to talk to the children who were traumatised about the incident.
“The issue of organising for schools to have metal detectors and scanners is still on course but for now while we planning that can our communities help us keep our schools safe by making sure that the children don’t go to schools carrying weapons.”