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Cape Town - Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Basic Education has expressed concerns about violence in schools after the death of a teacher - allegedly at the hands of a pupil - at a school in Zeerust in the North West. 

According to the Department of Basic Education, the teenager took umbrage after he had been reprimanded by the teacher while queueing for food at the school feeding scheme. He returned to school the following day and allegedly fatally stabbed the educator inside a classroom.

“The committee is deeply shocked by the incident. Weapons should never find their way into schools. This should be a safe environment for both learners and educators,” committee chairperson Nomalungelo Gina said.

The committee says the incident, which has shocked the public and made headlines across the country, reinforces  the need for increased safety and security measures at all schools across the country. 

“The committee would like to express its condolences to the family and friends of the deceased educator. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time,” Gcina said.

“I cannot emphasise enough that schools are places of safety. Education is a societal issue. It is important for everyone to work together to ensure a safe place for learners to be educating in and for teachers to do their job. 

“I want to appeal to parents and the community at large to help bring back the pride and safety back into our schools. Violence does not belong in schools,” said Gina.

Gina also expressed shock at reports of another, unrelated incident, in which an Eldorado Park pupil was arrested after allegedly pointing a firearm at a teacher. According to reports, the teacher had reprimanded the pupil for wearing a cap to school. The 15-year-old boy then pulled the pellet gun. Police later confirmed that the firearm was, in fact, a toy. It was reported that the educator reprimanded the learner on Tuesday and Wednesday for wearing a beanie to school. 

IOL