'I am here for my son' - mother of slain Forest Hill pupil attends court

Daniel Bakwela's mother Antonette Mabiala arrives at court to witness the first court appearance of his alleged killer on Wednesday.
Daniel Bakwela's mother Antonette Mabiala arrives at court to witness the first court appearance of his alleged killer on Wednesday.
Image: Nonkululeko Njilo/TimesLIVE

A mother in mourning and a scuffle involving alleged gang members marked the first court appearance on Wednesday of the pupil who allegedly killed grade 8 pupil Daniel Bakwela outside Forest High School in Turffontein, Johannesburg.

Antonette Mabiala, wrapped in a blanket, told TimesLIVE she was not well but was determined to attend the first court appearance of her 18-year-old son's alleged killer.

"I am here at court for my son," she said.

The grade 11 pupil is facing a charge of murder and two of attempted murder.

"God can see what is going on." These words were uttered by Bakwela's family members, who were at court along with his mother, moments after 20-year-old pupil accused of killing him appeared at the Johannesburg magistrate's court.

The pupil cannot be named because an identity parade still needs to be held. He is expected to file for a formal bail application on Thursday.

Bakwela, was stabbed to death during an alleged gang fight between the "STK" and "IDV" gangs on Monday.

Two other pupils were hospitalised. One of them attended court on Wednesday. 

"All we want is a fair judgment, for him to serve the maximum sentence, because it is not the first time something like this happens," said the pupil who survived.

Bakwela's uncle said it was pointless discussing how the family felt about the court proceedings.

"We have already lost, what's the point, nothing can bring him back," said Patou Wanzio.

The courtroom was packed, with other pupils also in attendance.

Ahead of the suspect's appearance in court, orderlies escorted two alleged rival gang members from the premises. 

Two grade 8 learners allegedly stabbed a grade 10 learner to death outside Forest High School in Turffontein, in the south of Johannesburg, on June 2 2019. It is not clear what led to the fight, but according to some pupils it was part of an ongoing battle between two rival gangs. Hours after the attack, the lifeless body of the 16-year-old boy still lay next to the street as pathologists gathered evidence from the scene, watched by family members and friends of the victim. Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi arrived at the school soon after hearing the news. No arrests have been made.

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