Four pupils arrested after attacking police at school in Soweto

11 April 2019 - 17:43
By Ernest Mabuza and Iavan Pijoos
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi
Image: Vathiswa Ruselo/Sowetan Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has condemned the violent behaviour of pupils at Freedom Park Secondary School in Soweto who attacked police on Thursday.

Pupils and community leaders attacked police with rocks.

The police were invited by the school principal to search for and seize drugs and dangerous instruments at the school.

National police spokesperson Col Brenda Muridili said three 15-year-old pupils were detained for public violence. A 20-year-old pupil was arrested for possession of dagga and a dangerous weapon.

The three teens were to be released into the care of their parents until they appeared in court.

"The Eldorado police accompanied by their youth desk members this morning arrived at the Freedom Park Secondary School as per their arrangement with the school's principal the previous day, to search for drugs and dangerous weapons," Muridili said.

She said the police were in partnership with the department of education to prevent, manage and respond to incidents of crime and violence in schools.

"As part of the ongoing school safety programme, prevention of crime in schools is ensured with random searches that are conducted.

"The police were conducting a random search for drugs and dangerous weapons when the learners allegedly started throwing stones," she said.

Two police officers were injured, she added.

"It is encouraging that some of the learners that were involved in this violent behaviour have been apprehended by the police and will face the full might of the law," Lesufi said.

Lesufi said he had identified "learner discipline" as one of the priorities of the department.

He wanted cases such as school-based violence, gangsterism, drug abuse, cyber-bullying and other related serious misdemeanours to be expedited. He also wanted to ensure that the department was proactive in eliminating these social ills from the school environment.

Lesufi said on Saturday that he would interact with the representative council of learners from schools in the province at the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg to address issues affecting pupils, including violence and pupil behaviour.