Metro Police have refuted allegations that its officers manhandled pupils at a Durban secondary school.
This comes after videos and photographs of a fight at the Effingham Secondary School went viral last week. It is alleged that a fight broke out between two Grade 12 girls, over racist comments. When teachers tried to separate the girls, some boys got involved and chaos ensued.
KwaZulu-Natal Education head of department Nathi Ngcobo said when one when of the girl's parents arrived at the school, they assaulted the other pupil and police were called in.
In one of the video clips, a man is seen confronting a pupil.
Responding to complaints, Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad said they responded to a panic call that pupils were fighting. SAPS, Metro Police and private security personnel were called out to attend.
“One security member tried to forcibly arrest one of the pupils and one of the Metro Police members intervened to separate the two.
“We can confirm that the person seen in the video holding and pointing a firearm is not from Metro Police.
“The rifle in the video is an AR with a red sight. Metro Police do not issue such rifles. The reflective jacket worn by the person is also not that of Metro Police,” Sewpersad said.
Ngcobo said pupils were sent home on Wednesday and when they returned on Thursday, another fight started. Parents were called to fetch their children and classes were suspended. He said KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu has called for a full investigation on the incident, including criminal charges to be laid against pupils at the school.
The provincial Education Portfolio Committee has meanwhile called for an investigation into the incident. Chairperson Sifiso Sonjica further condemned the manhandling of pupils.
“The committee calls for a thorough investigation. Tough action must be taken against anyone who may have acted irresponsibly, as such acts may have led to violence which would have caused serious damage to school property and to the lives of the pupils,” he said.