Chaos at high school as youth is gunned down

school.jpg Pretoria News School in shock: Distraught schoolchildren stare at the body of an 18-year-old who was gunned down by a pupil at Eesterus Secondary School in Gauteng. Photo: Liza van Deventer, Pretoria News

Chaos erupted at a high school in Eersterus on Monday when a youth was gunned down, allegedly by a 17-year-old pupil from Eersterus Secondary School.

Shocked family members and school children stared in horror at the body of 18-year-old Marcel Davis who was left to die in an open piece of veld adjacent to the school.

It is believed the suspect is a Grade 11 pupil at Eersterus Secondary School and that he is out on bail following an earlier murder charge.

Police Captain Piletji Sebola said such details could not be confirmed until further investigations had been done.

According to information the suspect was approached by Davis and a friend - neither of whom attend the school - during break-time on Monday morning.

A concerned parent, who did not want to be identified, said he saw the suspect and Davis's friend begin to argue on the playground. The argument apparently had nothing to do with Davis.

"Next thing there was a lot of commotion. I started running to the spot where all the schoolchildren were standing but I knew I was too late," said the parent.

It is believed the suspect opened fire on Davis and his friend when they ran away. Davis was hit and collapsed. Paramedics were called to the scene but could not save his life.

One of the parents said he was concerned about how such a tragedy could occur.

"This is a child who was not even at the school. It appears he was innocent and now he is dead.

"We definitely have a problem of outside children coming on to the school's property during break-times and then starting fights with the pupils," he said.

After the incident, the pupils were called to the quad area where principal Dorothy Magardie explained what had happened before telling them to go home.

It was unclear how the suspect managed to enter the school with a firearm.

The concerned parent claimed the suspect had informed school officials that he had been threatened some time ago and that he carried the gun with him for safety.

Davis's father, Canny Olifant, walked around shocked and dismayed at the scene.

"I am traumatised by this," was all he managed to say.

Parents complained of a lack of security at the school, including the fact that there were holes in the perimeter palisade fencing.

Magardie said security was a serious issue for the school and had been discussed at several parent meetings.

"We know there is a problem and the relevant stakeholders have been informed. The problem is a lack of funding," she said.

Magardie said she was not allowed to comment to the media but added: "I do want to make a statement to reassure parents that everything is under control."

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