Louwrens Gebhardt, 18, dead from high school beating

 Louwrens Gebhardt, 18, Westonaria HS, Nov 6 2010 – dies from beating with baseball bat –  he’d tried to stop a man from attacking a fellow-pupil

  Gebhardt Lourens 18 Westonaria high school killed intervening in fight Nov7010

’Louwrens Gebhardt, 18, the captain of the Westonaria High School first rugby team, was declared braindead on Nov 7 2010 and died from a massive brain haemorrhage from a blow with a baseball-bat by the parent of a pupil who had been involved in a fracas with another pupil on Nov 4 2010. http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Sterf-toe-hy-geveg-wou-keer-20101107

Amanda Roestoff of Beeld newspaper reports that Gebhardt died at 11 am on Nov 6 in Krugersdorp private hospital when his life-support machines were turned off after he was declared legally brain dead. His entire team was there to say farewell to the  young Afrikaner.

He was beaten into a coma on Thursday Nov 4 2010 at around 13:30 while he tried to stop an adult man from attacking a school-friend just outside the school-terrain of his high school with a baseball-bat. The fight was a continuation of a fracas between two pupils the day before – and an adult man ‘who was closely related to one of the pupils’ had tried to hit the other pupil in revenge, writes Beeld. When Louwrens tried to stop the man, he was bashed with a baseball bat over the head and received brain injuries which led to his death. Bystanders said the man had stood outside the school gates, waiting for the pupil, armed with a baseball bat. Although known by name and address, the police are still looking for him…

Louwrens’ uncle Cobus Gebhardt said his nephew had not been involved in the previous day’s fight but went across the road to try and help. “Pupils who witnessed the attack alerted the teachers – who in turn contacted his parents, who rushed Louwrens to a general practitioner. He was still conscious when he was at the doctor’s practice but while he was taken to hospital in the ambulance he lost consciousness.’  Tests revealed that he suffered severe bleeding of the brain.

“He was a sparkling young man. His death leaves an empty space in all our hearts.” The family denies claims by onlookers and surrounding residents of the school that ‘racial tensions’ were linked to the murderous assault on the Afrikaner youth. Headmaster Benard Fischer also said ‘there is no racial tension at the school. The incident was caused by children harassing each other’.

The police meanwhile – although the killer is known by name – has yet to find him. They are searching for him, claimed SAPS constable Lienkie Lefakane. They were also ‘watching the situation at the school to prevent further violence,’ Lefakane said. http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Sterf-toe-hy-geveg-wou-keer-20101107

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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