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‘Satanist’ kills boy at school
18 Aug 2008
Leané du Plessis and Amanda Roestoff

Krugersdorp — “Do you want to see something cool?” With these words, in front of classmates, a “possessed” and masked grade 12 pupil at a Krugersdorp school hacked a fellow pupil to death with a Samurai-type sword yesterday morning.

“Watch out! He’s lost his head!” matric pupils shouted, moments before Morné Harmse (18), of the Nic Diederichs Technical High School in Krugersdorp West, pulled out the sword and slashed the neck of Jacques Pretorius (16).

Pupils said Harmse was “possessed by the devil” when he began his violent attack at about 7.20 am.

“Do you want to see something cool?” Harmse apparently said to a matric girl moments before he sliced through Jacques’ aorta.

Jacques’ best friend, JC Welman (16), was standing next to him when he was attacked.

“I was still wondering if it wasn’t a joke, but then I saw the blood bubbling out of his neck,” Welman said, in tears.

Jacques died on the scene, said Netcare 911 spokesman Mark Stokoe.

Stunned pupils told how Harmse, wearing his school uniform and a black and brown mask, walked down the passage and swung his sword about.

Harmse also injured two workers at the school with his sword.

Pupil Stefan Bouwer (17) was also stabbed and another suffered a shock-induced asthma attack.

Harmse finally pushed the blade of the sword into the ground in a small garden next to the school courtyard and sat down.

He pulled off his mask when teachers approached and presented his face, which was smeared with black polish.

“What happened? What happened?” he asked the teachers who took him to the staff room.

“Satan said he is going to kill me if I don’t kill them before the end of the day,” he apparently said earlier.

Pupils were already in assembly when they heard the police sirens.

“A teacher came in after the prayer and said we had to go home until further notice,” a pupil said.

A reliable source said Harmse brought four masks, similar to those worn by the heavy metal band Slipknot, in his school bag.

Apparently he was also carrying three samurai swords.

The source said one of the masks was white, similar to that worn by Slipknot’s drummer Joey.

Another mask was a clown mask, similar to band member Shawn’s, and the third mask was a gasmask as worn by the DJ, Sid.

During the attack Harmse apparently wore a mask similar to the one belonging to the lead singer Corey.

Apparently Harmse tried to persuade friends to join him in the slaying. “He told them: ‘Today is the day you can get back at those who were against you’.”

Harmse apparently also used words such as “masquerade” and “bloodbath”.

His friends said his eyes were red and black, like those of a crazy person.

Supported by his father Johan, his mother Christine and his friend JP Britz, 17, JC Welman told what happened: “We [Jacques and JC] met each other just after 7 am at the tree (near the school’s main gate), like we do everyday.

“We walked to the tuck shop. He bought me a red Foxi Nax and we ate it on the stairs next to the tuck shop,” JC said.

They were on their way to the hall when the attack occurred, JC said.

He ran away and phoned his father on his cellphone.

A few minutes later his father arrived at the school and accompanied him back to where Jacques was.

“I kept talking to him because I was scared he would lapse into a coma.

“I held his leg … his eyes were open but I could see it was already too late,” JC said.

Jacques’ friends and family stood tearfully outside the family’s house.

Elize Froneman, the acting director of the West Rand Education district, referred all questions to the Gauteng Education Department.

Daniella du Plooy reports that spokesman Panyaza Lesufi, who visited the school yesterday, said it was “a sad day for the department”.

“We have been confronted with a lot of school violence over the last while, but nothing of this nature.

“We’ll do everything in our power to control the situation and to prevent similar incidents.”

Those who were injured were treated in hospital. The two workers were discharged and Bouwer was admitted. He was in a stable condition last night.

Meanwhile, Beeld was told confidentially that another 18-year-old boy was arrested with Harmse yesterday.

Police spokesman Captain Jacob Raboroko could only confirm one arrest.

The two boys are expected to appear in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court today on charges of murder and attempted murder.

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