Suspect (13) arrested for murder of Mondeor High pupil

Kulani Mathebula (19) was stabbed to death while walking to school on Wednesday morning.

The crime scene where the murdered pupil's body was found on 13 March 2019. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Police have arrested a 13-year-old suspect in connection with the murder of a Mondeor High School pupil.

Kulani Mathebula (19) was stabbed to death while walking to school on Wednesday morning.

Police were searching for two other schoolboys from a nearby school who are believed to have been involved.

Meanwhile, Mathebula’s uncle confirmed his nephew called him during his final moments to inform him that he’d been stabbed.

Themba Chauke said he received a call on Wednesday morning from his nephew - not knowing it would be the last time they spoke.

“I received the call this morning from my younger brother crying uncontrollably, saying brother there’s someone who has stabbed me.”

He said he tried to find out from his nephew who had attacked him.

“I asked him who did it and he said to me he didn’t know who stabbed him and asked me to come to the scene. He tried to explain where’s the scene but I couldn’t understand him.”

Chauke later found his nephew’s lifeless body lying in a park near his school covered with a foil blanket.

WATCH: Mondeor High School pupil fatally stabbed


Meanwhile, Education Minister Angie Motshekga said she was shocked and saddened by the killing of Mathebula.

Motshekga said Mathebula’s murder follows the fatal stabbing of another pupil barely a week ago at the
Emmanuel Secondary School in Kimberly allegedly over his matric dance shoes.

The minister said she trusted police would prioritise the case and work swiftly to arrests those responsible.

“The law needs to take its course and police need to investigate and get to the bottom of this. There’s a legal process that needs to take place and those who are guilty of murder need to be held accountable in a way that is appropriate,” said Motshekga’s spokesperson Troy Martens.


Earlier, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he suspected those behind the murder of Mathebula may be school pupils.

Lesufi said while he didn't want to speculate, but pupils could be seen in some of the video footage obtained in connection with Mathebula’s murder.

“The sad part is that with the current footage that we have, we have zoned in on three other learners from other schools around the area. That’s the only information that we can make available.”

He said authorities were working to identify the suspects.

“But whether it’s them, I’m not sure that’s the reason why we are very reluctant to work on that information. And if it’s them, it will add to the sadness.”

Lesufi addressed pupils at the school and said the department would also provide counselling to the 19-year-old’s family.


Earlier, Gauteng police activated a 72-hour deadline for themselves to track down Mathebula’s killers.

Provincial acting police commissioner Max Masha said a team of detectives were appointed to track down the suspects.

“We’ve activated our 72-hour action plan. We intend to arrest the suspects within 72 hours.”

Masha said video footage would also assist police in their investigation.

“We’re still going to work on them [video footage] and use resources that we have, as police, to ensure that we find and arrest the suspects as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, the principal of Mondeor High School who was one of the first people on the scene said she was distraught.

She said Mathebula was still alive when she arrived but was not able to speak in his final moments.