Schools may get national key points status

The South African Police Service said it was taken by surprise when schools in Vuwani were set on fire. If that is true, it shouldn’t be, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Thursday.

“When viewed objectively they should have been aware of the imminent attacks,” the SAHRC said in a 60-page report — formally titled the SAHRC Report on National Investigative Hearing into the Impact of Protest-related Action on the Right to a Basic Education in South Africa.

Instead of protecting schools, police were deployed to other key points, including infrastructure designated under the National Key Points Act — an apartheid relic that allowed the government to demand the addition of security features at privately owned sites while making the owners pay.

Is the solution then to declare schools national key points?

So reasons the department of basic education, police told the SAHRC, and it was already in the process of attempting just that.


The SAHRC is not convinced. “This issue is fraught with challenges,” it said. “For example, the law governing national key points would require additional security measures be put in place, and providing this level of protection to all the schools in South Africa would have serious fiscal implication.

“Furthermore, national key points may not be photographed and taking such a stance with respect to schools, which are in essence public spaces, would create serious legal implications, potentially resulting in many people failing to adhere to this legal requirement,” the commission said.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Phillip De Wet
Guest Author

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: George Euvrard, the brains behind our cryptic crossword

George Euvrard spoke to Athandiwe Saba about his passion for education, clues on how to solve his crosswords and the importance of celebrating South Africa.

Poachers in prisons tell their stories

Interviews with offenders provide insight into the structure of illegal wildlife trade networks

More top stories

Covid claims Zimbabwe’s foreign minister amid surge in cases

Sibusiso Moyo, the third Zimbabwean minister to die from the virus, was a potential successor to the president

No one should be as rich as Elon Musk

The reactions to Elon Musk’s billionaire status are evidence that far too many South Africans have not fully grasped the destructive consequences of inequality. Entrepreneur...

Department of basic education edges closer to releasing matric results

The basic education department has said that it is almost done with the marking process and that the capturing of marks is in progress.

The rare fairytale of Percy Tau

Through much hard work and a bit of good fortune, the South African attacker has converted a potential horror story into magic
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…