David Methape was described by his family as a quiet child who loved dancing to entertain people around him.
But his life came to an abrupt end when he was brutally stabbed, reportedly for a cap and R12 that did not even belong to him.
Methape was a grade 8 pupil at Robert Machaka Mamabolo Secondary School in GaMamabolo village outside Polokwane. He was stabbed in the chest and died on his way to a local clinic on Tuesday.
Charles Sethole, Methape’s uncle, said a police van loaded with pupils and David’s teacher came to his house to inform him about the murder of his nephew.
“I left with them to go to the clinic. Along the way, I asked those boys what happened and they told me that David’s friend had asked him to keep his belongings. Then the other pupil accosted David to demand the cash and cap,” Sethole explained. “The pupil pulled a kitchen knife and stabbed him on the chest. I saw the wound, it was deep as I could see his heart through.”
Sethole said that when he got to the clinic, the nurses informed him that his nephew had died on his way to the clinic. He said he wanted justice to be served and the killer to be sent to jail.
Another pupil who had witnessed the incident said Methape was only stabbed once and tried running before collapsing to the ground.
“It happened at the school gate. He ran towards the school blocks and then he collapsed. His blood was gushing out profusely. The guy was at the gate, playing dice with other pupils,” he said.
Education spokesperson Sam Makondo said: “We are terrified… We have dispatched a team of departmental psychologists to render counselling to affected pupils, teachers and the family.”
According to police spokesperson Col Moatshe Ngoepe, the suspect was arrested at his hideout in the area on the same day.
“The preliminary investigations led police to a spot where the murder weapon was hidden on top of a small hill outside the village. The suspect will appear in the Mankweng magistrate’s court today on a charge of murder,” Ngoepe advised.
Koketso Ramorei is a journalist and news editor of SADC News with years of experience in a number of genres including sports, politics and community reporting. He has worked for a numerous publications including The Citizen Newspaper and is a former editor of a Johannesburg-based off-campus publication called The Waldorfian Times.