Family waits for answers after son stabbed to death in school

Unathi Latshana’s aunt, Neliswa Latshana, said she does not know why her nephew was stabbed and as the family they still want answers from the school.

The Latshana family from Samora Machel is demanding answers from the department of education and Zanokhanyo Senior Secondary School after their son, Unathi Latshana, 18, was stabbed to death during school hours two weeks ago.

Unathi’s aunt, Neliswa Latshana said on the morning of Wednesday November 15, a pupil from Unathi’s school came rushing to tell them that he had been stabbed.

She immediately rushed to the school and found her nephew, a Grade 11 pupil, lying in the sick bay.

She said she called out his name but he was unresponsive. She suspected that he might have already been dead.

A few minutes later, her cousin arrived and when they wanted to rush Unathi to a nearby hospital the teachers refused to allow them to do so, saying an ambulance was on its way.

When paramedics arrived at the school, she said they did not spend more than 10 minutes in the sick room and that is when she knew that he was dead.

Ms Latshana said she repeatedly asked the teachers what had happened but got no answer. She said they noticed that there was a wound on Unathi’s neck.

“We have not been informed until today about what happened that day. We do not know why was he stabbed. We did not open a case and we have been informed that the boy that stabbed Unathi lives here in Samora but in another area. We are still waiting for his family to come to talk to us about the burial costs and how are they going to assist the family and perhaps apologise about their son’s action.

“We assume maybe the other boy used a scissor to stab him.

“The principal and the entire staff have not visited us as the family to show any remorse or assist with counselling. It’s like it was a dog that was killed in those school premises.

Ms Latshana said when she arrived at the school she informed them that Unathi’s mother was at the clinic at the time of the incident.

Ms Latshana said this week they were planning to bury Unathi in the Eastern Cape and have made an impassioned plea to any good Samaritan to help the family where they can.

She described Unathi as a peaceful child who never gave them any problems.

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson, Bronagh Hammond, said the department is aware of the incident where a Grade 11 pupil succumbed to his injuries after being stabbed in the neck by a Grade 10 pupil.

Ms Hammond said the incident followed another incident the previous day, in which the Grade 11 pupil had allegedly stabbed the Grade 10 pupil in the cheek after school in the community.

However, she said it is unclear what the fight was about and the motive for this incident.

Unfortunately, she said the Grade 10 pupil approached the Grade 11 pupil the following morning and after a few words were said, he took out a knife (allegedly) and stabbed him in the neck.

Paramedics were called in but unfortunately the pupil passed away. The department immediately sent officials to the school to provide support and counselling, and have provided additional security to the school.

She said representatives from the department did meet with the family. A memorial service was held on Tuesday November 28, as organised by family and assisted by the school.

The school has also arranged for voluntary contributions for the family.

“Our condolences to the family, friends and the school community. This is a tragic case all round, with one child fatally wounded, and another child to face criminal charges,” she said.

Zanokhanyo Senior Secondary school where Unathi Latshana was stabbed to death.