Starting Young: South African Schools are a haven for crime

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The DA’s Basic Education Spokesperson in Gauteng, Khume Ramulifho said the safety of learners and teachers in Gauteng schools was under siege as eight learners, and a principal was killed inside the school premises over the last five years.

This comes after 40 stabbings, 10 shootings and 16 violent crimes involving learners and teachers were reported in Gauteng.

"This is shocking and a clear indication that the lives of innocent people are in danger, yet not much is being done to tighten security measures at our schools," he said.

The information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Education, Matome Chiloane, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

26 incidents were a result of gangsterism, in addition, Ramulifho said 45 incidents occurred because of learner-on-learner violence, one due to teacher-to-teacher violence, six due to learner-on-teacher violence, and four incidents resulting from teacher-on-learner violence. Outsiders also killed eight learners and four teachers.

"In total, there were 94 incidents of violent crimes in Gauteng schools in the last five years," he added.

According to Ramulifho, the incidents indicated that schools were unsafe and there was an urgent need to review the current school’s safety strategy as there has been no improvement.

"In addition, to date, there is only one conviction known by the department regarding these cases," he said.

He mentioned that some cases were closed due to a lack of evidence, and some were still ongoing.

He stated that the justice system was failing South African teachers and learners judging from the conviction rate. He also included that thorough investigations should be done on the cases to ensure that they make it to the court roll.

Furthermore, the DA demanded the department review the Gauteng schools’ safety strategy and ensure that all stakeholders were involved in formulating new ways to curb violence in our schools.

"Education is a societal issue, and communities must be involved to ensure our schools are safe places for learners and teachers," it said.

The DA proposed that Chiloane should engage the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety and Security, Faith Mazibuko, to ensure that school safety was prioritised and the incidents were investigated to ensure justice for the victims and their families.


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