Boy, 14, kills ‘bully’

A special-needs learner at a Rehoboth school allegedly stabbed to death a schoolmate who was scheduled for suspension yesterday because of violent behaviour.

14 October 2020 | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKES

REHOBOTH

The Rehoboth community is reeling in shock after a 14-year-old special-needs Grade 3 learner allegedly stabbed and killed a 15-year-old Grade 8 boy who had allegedly bullied him over a sustained period of time.

The deceased was identified as Ivan Zamuee, who, according to the police, was stabbed with a kitchen knife that “went completely into his chest”.

Namibian Sun found the accused at the Rehoboth police office, dumbfounded as he was led to the charge office to be charged.

“This tragedy could have been prevented,” someone close to the incident said, after parents of the deceased and other rowdy boys were told about their children’s violent behaviour.

The suspect is being kept in a single cell at the Rehoboth police holding cells and is expected to make his first court appearance today.

The crime investigations coordinator for the Hardap Region, Deputy Commissioner Eric Clay, said the matter was still being investigated.

Troubled boys

The #Oa//ob cluster education inspector, George Dax, yesterday said the deceased, who died an hour after being stabbed, was part of gang of troubled boys who broke into school lockers.

“This boy (accused) was in the special class and he graduated to Grade 3 this year because of his age… there was some bullying and these boys, including the deceased, were going to be suspended from school [yesterday],” he said.

Counselling

According to Dax, the boys were due to appear before the St Joseph school hostel’s committee once their suspension was over, adding that the boys already had a counselling meeting with the social worker attached to the Rehoboth St Mary’s Hospital.

“I understand the principal, Ms Erica van der Hoven, explained very kindly to them that they must behave themselves and not get into any trouble because they would be suspended today [yesterday]. Their parents were called yesterday to come and collect them,” he said.

Dax also said they would rally all the life skills teachers at the town to give counselling to the traumatised learners who witnessed the stabbing.

“From today onwards (Tuesday) we will have one-on-one sessions with the learners as well as general meetings to talk about the incident. There were learners who physically saw this incident took place,” he said.

Principal Van der Hoven refused to speak to the media.

Namibian Sun understands that the deceased’s family was called to collect him on Monday and they had refused.

His uncle, Karel Haradoeb, yesterday said the family was not willing to comment on the matter.

Bullying

Sanet Steenkamp, the executive director in the ministry of education, arts and culture, yesterday said the loss of life, particularly in such a tragic and unfortunate manner, was painful.

“The ministry reaffirms that schools should be places of safety for both the learners and teachers, where parents and guardians entrust their children’s education to the care of teachers and this incident is deeply regretted,” she said.

She also said the implementation of the National Safe School Framework should be strengthened in all schools across the country to prevent systemic bullying and violence in schools.

“We realise that this traumatic incident can have a major impact on the emotional wellbeing and responses by all affected,” she said.

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