‘Principal didn’t know pupil had a gun’

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oaklands high school

INLSA

Cape Town - The 14-year-old Oaklands High School pupil who allegedly shot and injured two other pupils in a taxi took the gun to school on the day of the shooting, a report to the provincial education ministry has indicated.

“It is not clear at this stage whether other learners were aware that the learner had a gun in his possession,” said Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant. The principal was not aware that the boy had a pistol.

“Had he known, he would have taken the necessary steps to remove it.”

In a case where a principal had been made aware that a pupil was carrying a dangerous object, or alcohol or illegal drugs, he could conduct “a search-and-seizure exercise”.

The teenager was expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday but did not do so.

Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said the docket had been sent to court on Wednesday. But National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Eric Ntabazalila told the Cape Argus that the NPA had not yet received the docket from the police. “The case is still with the police,” he said.

The teenager will appear in court only once he is charged. He is not in police custody but police would not disclose his whereabouts.

The incident happened at about 3pm on Tuesday while all three pupils were in a taxi, about to leave school.

Both the injured pupils, who are in Grade 8 and Grade 10, were hit in the leg.

Casey said the Grade 10 pupil had surgery on Tuesday night and the Grade 8 pupil would receive further medical attention.

She said the school was “understandably shaken” by the incident and counsellors had provided support to teachers and pupils.

At the beginning of the school year metro police officers started doing duty at six Peninsula schools, but Oaklands High was not one of them.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, said indications were that the pilot project had been able to help stabilise violence on school grounds, and was helping with issues like drugs in schools and criminal elements coming on to school grounds.

“Ideally, we would like to have the officers in more schools.”

Some of the recent incidents of violence at schools include:

- In February last year 16-year-old Raylinn Fortuin died after being stabbed at Beauvallon High School in Valhalla Park.

- In October, Grade 11 pupil Thabani Mntini died after being stabbed in the face during a break-time scuffle on the grounds of Hillcrest Secondary School in Mossel Bay.

- In July, Gordon High School pupil Bradley October, 15, was stabbed at the school.

- Also in July, Alan Manuel, 17, a Grade 11 pupil at Kasselsvlei Comprehensive High School in Bellville South, died after he was stabbed in the back three times.

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Cape Argus


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