Pupil owns up to drug dealing

2009-11-23 00:00

A GRADE six pupil was caught selling dagga to other pupils at a primary school in the Pietemaritzburg suburbs early this month. Ten pupils questioned by the police for their involvement in dealing and use of dagga, at Northern Park Primary, all confessed to buying and smoking the drug.

The grade six pupil was given up by a classmate, who reported to the principal after he bought some marijuana from the young dealer. The principal questioned the pupils and it emerged that nine more pupils had bought and smoked dagga at school.

“Police were informed and they interviewed the learners concerned, and their parents were informed accor­dingly,” Education Department spokeswoman Mbali Thusi said. She said the school governing body (SGB) will take proper disciplinary action.

Three pupils, including the one who was selling, are doing grade six and the other eight are in grade seven. “The grade six boys confessed to having brought dagga to school — this includes the learner who was found with the dagga in his possession. The rest also confessed to having bought or used dagga.”

It is not clear whether the dagga belonged to the boy or if he was selling for someone else. Thusi said the police have leads about where the dagga came from.

Thusi said the SGB is working closely with the SAPS Dog and Drug units to arrange counselling for pupils. “In addition, the SGB will liaise with organisations, such as Nicro, in a bid to assist the pupils.

“We would like to reiterate that schools are a weapon- and drug-free zone. Any learner found to be in possession of drugs or weapons inside the school premises will face the necessary disciplinary action and, if found guilty, a learner can even face possible expulsion.

“We also make a call to parents to talk to their children about the dangers of drugs and violence; this type of behaviour will not be tolerated and we hope that this will send a strong message and be a lesson …”

Thusi said the police will conduct a random search and seizure at schools considered as “hot-spots”. Although police now have permission to conduct search and seizure operations at schools to clamp down on violence and drug abuse, pupils are outsmarting them by getting rid of drugs before the searches.

The Education Law Amendment Act gazetted earlier this year allows principals or delegated officials to search pupils and seize contraband and weapons.

The Criminal Procedure, Drugs and Drug Trafficking, and Firearms Control acts also allow police to search school premises or people on the premises without a warrant, on reasonable suspicion.

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