UPDATES: The tenant of the house where a horrendous attack by Tupou College students took place on Thursday night at Tofoa has been previously advised that allowing Tonga College students to stay in her house posed a risk of becoming targeted for an attack.
A student of Tonga College, Taniela Mahe 15 is in the hospital after the attack on Thursday night 18 but in good condition according to her mother, Mrs Luʻisa Mahe. Another victim of the attack who is an ex-student of Tonga College, Taniela Halahuni 21 is also in the hospital but in a critical condition.
Kaniva News has been informed that Halahuni is now in life support, but we could not confirm that as we could not be able to get hold of Surgeon Dr Lord Tangi who was said to be the only authority that could release any information regarding Halahuni.
Tofoa town officer, Mr ʻUsaia Fifita said he studied recent attacks by Tupou College students and could learn they followed similar patterns of attacking homes where small number of Tonga College students lived. He then undertook to make sure his villagers would not be victims.
Mr Fifita told Kaniva News before the attack on Thursday he talked to the tenant, Mrs Lu’isa Mahe in relation to the Tonga College students staying in her house.
The town officer said he was aware of a fight last month between these Tonga College students with some Tupou College students in the area. A church steward for the Free Wesleyan Church in the vicinity was injured in the fight after he intervened because of his children involved. The steward's children are currently studying at Tupou College.
Mr Fifita said the Tonga College students were previously staying in another friend’s house in the area. He then talked to the home owner to consider returning the students to their own parents and places.
He only learnt after the Thursday attack that the students were not returned to their various places but instead were just moving to another home in the area.
Mrs Mahe told Kaniva News the students from Tonga College who have been victims of Thursday’s incidence were not staying in her house. Her two sons are staying at Tonga College with the principal during the week, she said.
Mrs Mahe was a teacher at Tonga College and the Tonga College students in the area used to come for her assistance with their studies during the week.
She said after the rugby tournament semi final between Tupou College and Tonga College on Thursday 11 Tonga College won but a fight broke out after the game between the two colleges.
The fight was eventually dispersed and some Tonga college students gathered at her home that evening. She later received a call from the town officer saying he was concerned for the safety of those living in her house and the neighboruing residents because of the recent fights between the two colleges.
Mrs Mahe said she told the town officer that the students were not staying in her house and they just turned up for either to have something to eat or to get assistance for their studies.
Mrs Mahe also confirmed that Taniela Halahuni 21 is no longer a student at Tonga College.
Apparently Halahuni was in the wrong place at wrong time on Thursday night 18.
On the night of the attack Mrs Mahe said she returned with some foods from Kolomotu’a after conducting a night study programme.
She arrived home to find her two sons in the house. They said they came from Tonga College to have their hairs cut for the School Rugby Tournament final the next day.
She then called Taniela Halahuni and the other Tonga College students who used to come to her house to come and dine with them.
“They regularly turned up looking for something to eat,” Mrs Mahe said.
After their dinner they just relaxed into a topic discussion on History and Tongan subjects, she said.
“We did not know our house has already been surrounded at the time around 10 to 12pm. But a stone hurled into the house and we heard a sound of shattering glass. Not long the Tupou College students entered into our house and smashed everything they could find,” she said.
It was estimated that about 200 students from Tupou College were at the scene and only about 8 Tonga College students were in the house at the time of the attack.
Mrs Mahe said her children together with the other Tonga College students may have been safe in the bedrooms. But after she noticed the attackers were trying to blow up the house with a gas cylinder they grabbed from the kitchen she shouted at the top her voice to alert the children in the bedrooms to find a way out.
“I just yelled and cried out I do not want you to kill my children. Lucky it could not ignite after they attempted to light it,” she said.
Halahuni and the boys came out of the rooms when they heard Mrs Maheʻs yelling and they were immediately assaulted and bashed over their heads.
Mrs Mahe said her son is in good condition but really concerned at Halahuni’s life condition which is seriously critical.
Kaniva News could not be able to obtain a comment from Tupou College.