Dr Enock Nzama Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency(ANA), African News Agency(ANA)
Durban - The provincial department of Community Safety and Liaison has said safety committees needed to be active in the province’s schools.

This comes after Masuku Primary School teacher Sbonakaliso Nyawose was gunned down in cold blood as he arrived at the school in Folweni , south of Durban, on Tuesday.

Department of Education provincial head Dr Enock Nzama, who visited the school yesterday, said the department would be providing private security for the school.

“As the department, it’s difficult to be all over, we rely on the police and community. We’re working closely now with the Department for Transport, Community Safety, and Liaison to ensure safety going forward.”

Nzama said it was difficult for the department to hire private security for all schools in the province due to financial constraints.

“We can only provide security guards that will be at the gate and watch the movement of teachers and learners. But there are schools without security guards and that is what we are working on, but it is going to be a process,” he said.

Classes at the school will only resume next term and counselling is being provided for pupils and teachers.

Community Safety and Liaison MEC Mxolisi Kaunda said the “scourge of violence at schools is a thorn in the flesh of the provincial government”.

“We will ensure that all schools in the province have active school safety committees; where there are none we will establish them, working with the Department of Education,” said Kaunda.

He appealed to civil society organisations to play an active role in improving the safety and security in their respective communities.

Kaunda described Nyawose’s murder as one that should have been prevented through increased security.

“We wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Nyawose family, Masuku Primary teachers and pupils.

“I’ve tasked the police to speed up investigations so that the perpetrators are brought to book. I’ve already spoken to the MEC for Education, Mr Kwazi Mshengu, to discuss ways to elevate safety measures at schools,” said Kaunda.

The South African Council for Educators’ deputy chairperson, Sibusiso Mchunu, said there was a need to strengthen security and safety in schools.

“Teachers spend most of their time in schools. It’s very important that they feel safe and protected while doing their job. That will also help in increasing the pass rates in our schools,” said Mchunu.

The provincial secretary of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union, Nomarashiya Caluza, said that the union would be marching to the Durban City Hall on June 26 to highlight the issue of teacher safety.

The Mercury