Western Cape MEC wants answers from police on pupil safety in gang areas

2016-04-12 15:33
School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town – The Western Cape education department says it is doing all it can to protect pupils from gang violence while on school property, but that the ultimate responsibility lies with police.

Gang violence has flared up in parts of Cape Town the past few days, including Manenberg, Bonteheuwel and Modderdam.

Education MEC Debbie Schafer said a Grade 9 Modderdam pupil was stabbed in the chest on Friday, allegedly by gangsters.

Despite two meetings regarding a safety plan last term, she had been advised that there was absolutely no increase in police visibility. Angered by Friday’s stabbing, she apparently requested an urgent meeting with provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula.

She wanted clarity on how the police intended to keep pupils safe. The meeting had yet to take place.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille also called on Jula on Tuesday to discuss the gang war in Manenberg.

Jula was expected to brief the media on gang interventions in the province later on Tuesday.

Schafer said that when gang violence or trespassing occurred, the Safe Schools call centre ensured the relevant authorities were alerted.

"In recent events, schools in Manenberg, Modderdam and Bonteheuwel have followed their safety plans, and alerted the authorities to the imminent threat outside the school gates,” she said on Tuesday.

"In most cases, if the SA Police Service responded, one vehicle and one police officer would arrive, which is simply not adequate to deal with five to 10 armed gang members.”

She believed an under-resourced police service in the province was to blame.

"It is clear that they are simply not able to cope, given their ongoing under-resourcing," she said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  gangs  |  crime

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