Minister Deeply Saddened and Angered by Murder of Learner
I am deeply saddened and angered by the senseless death of a Grade 10 learner from Masibambisane Secondary in Delft yesterday afternoon.
It is regrettable that violence has once again been used to resolve conflict. Yesterday's conflict has now resulted in the death of a young learner and the arrest of another.
It simply cannot be tolerated by anyone, anymore. Communities, the police and all other role players need to assist the education department's efforts to ensure that incidences like this do not happen again.
While the education department is doing all it can to prevent weapons from entering our school premises, we cannot control what is going on outside the school gate. Yesterday's incident happened outside the school, after school hours. The weapon used in the stabbing had been hidden at a nearby clinic and had not been taken into the school that day. This is a grim reminder that our increasingly successful efforts in eradicating violence on school grounds are not being replicated in our surrounding communities.
It has now become apparent that this incident was gang-related and that there had been previous violent altercations between the two learners. Various interventions by the school, their parents and the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) had been made to resolve the ongoing conflict, and it was believed that progress had been made when the two learners had agreed to move on.
It is a sad indictment of our society when children as young as sixteen years of age believe that violence is the only answer.
The WCED will continue to ensure that the safety of our learners within the school premises is protected and secured. We will continue to promote the use of the hand held metal detectors at schools, as well as, increase the number of search and seizure operations conducted by the South African Police Service (SAPS).
We will persist until all our schools are weapons and drug free zones. However, our schools can simply not be expected to police the community at large.
We again appeal to all members of the public to become active citizens in the fight against crime and violence in our communities and schools.
We all share the responsibility for teaching our children to resolve conflict fairly and peacefully.
We also need to model the behaviour we would want our children to follow.
Finally, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the family of the victim, my thoughts and prayers are with them at this most difficult of times.
Minister of Education Western Cape
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Cell: 072 724 1422
Tel: 021 467 2377