The Gauteng Education Department and local authorities were forced into action on Monday afternoon after a fatal stabbing took place at Forest High School in the south of Johannesburg. Following some initial confusion at the scene, it has been confirmed that a deceased Grade 8 learner was in fact the victim, rather than the perpetrator.
Two other students – aged 15 and 18 respectively – were also attacked in brutal fashion, and they were rushed to a nearby hospital. Both are expected to survive after receiving emergency medical treatment. Police now have a suspect in custody, so we’ve put together a quick synopsis on the man behind this heinous act:
Forest High School stabbing – who is the suspect?
No name has yet been made public, but we can confirm he’s a student in the school’s Grade 11 classes. His age has also been revealed, and it has been a bone of contention for the public – the 20-year-old was enrolled in the school to complete his matric studies. Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi even retweeted this onto his Twitter feed:
MEC @Lesufi please look into the age of our kids starting school. Honestly an 18yr old should not be in high school. They shld be in uni/college. The high school age should be 11 to 16yr. Anyone over 17+ shld attend adult school.#ForestHighSchool
— Mrs G🇲🇼🇿🇦🇬🇧 (@chahcharlie) June 3, 2019
Arrest of the killer
The suspect was captured just a few hours after committing the crime. He is the only person in custody. He fled the scene and attempted to hide away from authorities, but Gauteng SAPS have been praised for their “swift” response.
What lead to the Forest High School Stabbing?
It’s understood that there had been tension between some rival groups in the school, potentially linked to gang culture in the Turfontein area. Allegedly, a fight had broken out between both parties over the weekend before the disagreement came to a tragic conclusion on Monday.
What we can expect to happen next
Lesufi says he and his department will be pushing for a conviction, and he wants law enforcement to ensure that the murderer is held responsible. An inquiry into the incident is underway, but that isn’t enough for the DA’s Shadow MEC for Education Khume Ramulifho, who believes more needs to be done to ensure learner safety at Forest High School:
“School safety must be prioritised and the department needs to liaise with the Department of Community Safety to ensure that there are vetted school patrollers at every school to ensure the safety of pupils and teachers. We had previously called for a provincial inquiry into school safety and this was rejected.”