Arresting children is worrying: Police minister Bheki Cele calls out parents
When you are arresting 13-year-old children, then you must be “really worried”.
That is what police minister Bheki Cele said on Thursday on the sidelines of a media briefing at the police’s Gauteng headquarters in Parktown, Johannesburg.
School violence is not only the police’s problem, Cele said.
“Where are the parents? Where are other structures? Social development, education itself?” Cele asked.
“The call seems to be wrong to say everything is the police. There are several areas where we need to make a call. [The] other major call that must be made here are [to] parents. SGBs (school governing bodies) must be part of the proper schooling and the safety … The education department has a security budget. The police are additional in working with those people.”
When asked about possible interventions to prevent these crimes, Cele compared it to calls for the army to help fight crime in townships.
“We are not going to convert our townships to military zones, like schools, they (schools) cannot be converted to crime scenes,” Cele said.
“We are not ready to convert the schools to crime scenes where you find the police presence permanent and all of that.”
The police arrested three children in connection with the murder of Mondeor High School pupil Kulani Mathebula, 19, on Wednesday. Mathebula was fatally stabbed walking to school on Wednesday morning.
Police spokesperson captain Kay Makhubele said one suspect is 13 years old and the other two are 15 years old.
A gang of schoolchildren has also been implicated in the recent murder of Limpopo musician Thorisho Themane, while in Germiston children aged seven and eight are linked to the death of a three-year-old boy.