Cape Town - Three pupils at a Mitchells Plain school were stabbed, allegedly by another pupil, during an apparent gang-related altercation on Wednesday, the Western Cape education department confirmed.
Staff at Lentegeur Secondary School immediately called the police and emergency services, said Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for education MEC Debbie Schafer.
One pupil was stabbed on his left hand, forehead and neck; a second pupil was stabbed in the lower back and a third on his shoulder.
She said the three were taken to hospital.
Western Cape police spokesperson FC van Wyk confirmed authorities were aware of the incident "however the parties concerned decline to open any cases with SAPS".
He forwarded all queries to the education department.
Shelver said a safe schools programme co-ordinator and two psychologists visited immediately after the incident to "normalise" the school and provide psychological support.
Responsibility of police, communities
There would be increased police visibility after school is dismissed on Wednesday and for the remainder of the week.
Shelver said school safety was an ongoing concern and challenge for the department.
"We can take measures to secure our schools, and we do. But it is no secret that in the Western Cape we are faced with the scourge of gangsterism that has been plaguing some of our communities for decades.
"Unfortunately in communities where gangsterism is prominent, it can and does spill over into our schools."
Search and seizure operations, school resource officers, behavioural programmes and the safe schools programme were some of the initiatives in place to deal with the problem.
Shelver said it was also the responsibility of the police and communities to ensure the safety of pupils by preventing gangsterism.
"It is about engaging with all local role players and ensuring that gang members know that they are not welcome anywhere near our schools."