As a 17-year-old boy was preparing to stand trial for the murder of his teacher in Zeerust‚ North West‚ education minister Angie Motshekga was visiting the slain man’s family.
Gadimang Mokolobate‚ 24‚ was stabbed with a butcher knife at the Ramotshere Secondary School last Thursday. It emerged in court on Monday that the pupil had allegedly attacked his teacher because he had refused to offer him a second plate of food a few days earlier.
The pupil appeared briefly in the Lehurutshe Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
During her visit to Mokolobate’s home‚ Motshekga – along with North West education MEC Sello Lehari – described the situation as “heartbreaking”.
“It is indeed heartbreaking that a family has lost a breadwinner‚ a mother has lost a child and the sector has lost a talented young educator. Furthermore it brings into sharp focus the question of school safety and the fact that it is not only a school issue‚ instead it is a societal issue that requires us to re-engage and strengthen our social fabric‚” she said.
Her comments were contained in a statement on the visit released by the department on Tuesday.
The department described the meeting as an “emotionally challenging afternoon for all involved”.
“Both the national and provincial education departments have committed to work together to support the family of the slain educator‚ who was not only a breadwinner but was in the process of building a new family home in Ramatlabama village outside Mahikeng in the North West‚” the department said.
Mokolobate’s memorial service is planned for Thursday in the Luhurutshe township outside Mahikeng.