/ 22 August 2008

School violence under the spotlight

A 17-year-old boy was arrested after being found in possession of an unlicensed firearm at a school in Jabulani, Soweto, Johannesburg police said on Friday.

Spokesperson Inspector Kay Makhubela said the Muncube High School pupil was arrested following a tip-off by a resident in Mofolo north, Soweto, at 11.30am.

”Police were informed that he usually carried the gun to school. He was arrested while attending a class.”

Police investigations also revealed that the 9mm pistol was allegedly stolen during a housebreaking in Elisburg, Pretoria, early this year, he said.

The pupil was expected to appear in the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Monday to face charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm and housebreaking.

This was the sixth case of violence in Gauteng this week involving schoolchildren.

In Pretoria, a 15-year-old pupil was arrested on Wednesday for possession of a firearm, Wonderboompoort police said.

Inspector Wanda Olivier said police had received reports from two principals in the area that the pupil was travelling between two schools and was carrying a gun. Police stopped the taxi, searched the boy and arrested him when they found the firearm.

There were also two violent incidents in Heidelberg, south of Johannesburg. In the first a 17-year-old youth allegedly stabbed a 16-year-old classmate in the arm at the Hoer Volkskool on Wednesday. He ran away but was arrested later.

In Westbury Secondary School, Heidelberg, 12 pupils were involved in a gang fight. Police said the gang fight started in the township and spilled over into the school.

In Johannesburg, another a 17-year-old boy was arrested on Tuesday in Eldorado Park for attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm. This was after he allegedly fired shots at other children in a park in Extension Three on Monday, said police spokesperson Captain Philemon Khorombi. Nobody was hurt.

A matric boy at the Nic Diederichs Technical High School, Morne Harmse, allegedly killed fellow pupil Jacques Pretorius (16) with a sword at the school on Monday. He also allegedly injured another boy and two gardeners.

Harmse’s case of murder and three of attempted murder was postponed on Wednesday by the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court. He would remain in custody until his next appearance on August 27.

In KwaZulu-Natal, three schoolgirls appeared in the Wasbank Magistrate’s Court, northern KwaZulu-Natal, on Thursday and were charged with murder.

They allegedly assaulted another pupil outside a school in Dundee, outside Newcastle, three weeks ago. The pupil later died of head injuries. — Sapa