Cape Town - The words of concerned teachers were hardly cold when a high school learner was stabbed in the head in front of his school.
Unions, teachers and community activists spoke out yesterday, calling for peaceful and uninterrupted matric exams.
However, parents from Heideveld High School had to rush to fetch their children after a learner was stabbed in front of the school.
Chaos erupted when the Grade 10 learner was struck on the head with a panga and assaulted with a sjambok just before school started. The learner was rushed to hospital.
After hearing of the incident, parents went to fetch their children.
A grandmother told the Cape Argus: “The boys who live on the other side of Duinefontein Road are fighting with the boys who live near the school. There was a gang fight on Monday night and now they were retaliating because the boys were in school.
“I went to fetch my granddaughter, who is in Grade 11, because I was scared she might get hurt.”
She said the stabbing disrupted the matrics, who were supposed to have extra classes at 11am.
“Most learners went home and we don’t know if it will be safe for them to return to the school.”
The victim’s aunt said her nephew’s friends fought with the suspects on Monday.
“They attacked him as part of revenge. The attackers had an argument and fought with his friends on Monday and then yesterday morning they attacked him because they couldn't get back at them, but instead decided to attack him.
“He was beaten with a panga, causing a cut on his head. They also beat him with a sjambok. He is okay now. He had several stitches in his head. He was sent home to rest.”
The aunt said they are coming to terms with what happened.
“The mother is in complete shock and very distraught. She's afraid to leave her son's sight or even to return to work any time soon.
“We never expected anything to happen like this to him as he is a very friendly child who gets along with everyone. He’s not a gangster and is not even associated with gangsters.
Community policing forum chairperson Vernon Visagie said: “Apparently, a pupil was stabbed and another mugged. There was a heavy presence of the police and law enforcement to restore calm in the area and to bring things to normality.
“We trust that this is not going to interrupt the final exams of the learners and the matriculants. This can be a disturbance and it can be upsetting to the learners, but we are asking and appealing to parents and teachers to remain calm. I think we need to get things under control.”
He said he will appeal to law enforcement and the police to be present in the area.
“This is a very volatile area, and we need their presence and really need their presence around schools for the safety of the learners and teachers.”
Western Cape Education Department spokesperson Unathi Booi confirmed that a stabbing took place in front of the school gate yesterday morning.
“SAPS and Law Enforcement were alerted to the incident. The WCED has offered counselling and support to the school.”
Booi added: “Subsequently evidence of a learner being attacked has come to light which we will investigate further.”
Police spokesperson Wesley Twigg said they were made aware of the incident, however no criminal case was registered for investigation.