Western Cape education district officials believe gangs and community-related issues are to blame after two pupils were stabbed at a Mossel Bay school this week.
An 18-year-old pupil at Indwe Secondary School is in a stable condition after he was stabbed in the lower back.
Southern Cape police spokesperson Captain Malcom Pojie said a docket had been opened and the suspect, a 16-year-old, was facing a charge of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
He has since been released and is now in the care of his parents. He is due in court on June 18.
"District officials visited the school following the incident and indications are that ongoing fights there are due to gangsterism and issues that stem from the community," said Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Jessica Shelver.
On Monday morning, as pupils were about to write their exams, a fight broke out in the schoolyard. A 15-year-old was injured and rushed to hospital.
He is believed to be in a stable condition.
"We are concerned about the safety of learners and educators when there are flare-ups in the community and the possibility of weapons being carried onto school grounds.
"The WCED's Safe Schools field worker reported that he has requested additional support from the SAPS, asking them to increase their visibility in the area," said Shelver.
The department admitted that although the majority of incidents were not on school premises, gang violence could spill over into schools when pupils were directly involved.
Pojie said the police were carrying out search-and-seizure operations at schools in an effort to curb violence among pupils.