Durban - KwaZulu-Natal school fields have become an increasingly common location for grisly crime scenes and are also serving as the dumping grounds for victims’ bodies.
Three weeks ago the body of eight-year-old Nonjabulo Sabelo from Umlazi was discovered in bushes on the grounds of Umzwilili Primary School.
Yesterday, the body of 30-year-old Sithembile Sibiya was found in the grounds of Isidingo Primary School. She had sustained several stab wounds and her stomach had also been cut open.
Hers was the fifth body to be discovered in the school’s grounds since 2009.
Sibiya’s family said her attackers managed to lure her to the school because she had been suffering with mental difficulties.
“I think they knew that she was not well because she would do some things that a normal person will not do,” said her sister Thembisile Sibiya.
“Sometimes she will be suicidal, she will laugh, she will cry all at once.”
Themba Moloi, principal of Isidingo Primary School, said he believed the suspects gained entry to the premises easily as many of the school’s security features had been stolen by members of the local community.
“Most of the informal settlements that are here around the school, in their [the residents'] roofs you will discover that the palisade of the fence is used for their roofs and is also used when they are building their houses.”
Police are investigating a case of murder pertaining to Sibiya's death. Authorities also called on the Education Department to make provisions for the safety of pupils, by ensuring that lights at schools remained on 24 hours a day, in order to keep the grounds from being in total darkness.
Meanwhille, the department said that learners traumatised by Sibiya’s murder would receive counselling.