KZN MEC for Education Kwazi Mshengu has poured cold water on calls for teachers to arm themselves. Picture: Zanele Zulu/AfricanNewsAgency (ANA)
Durban -  KwaZulu-Natal education MEC Kwazi Mshengu has rejected the idea of allowing teachers to carry firearms in order to protect themselves from criminal elements. 

Mshengu spoke to Independent Media at Osuthu Palace in Nongoma, Zululand, on Thursday where Premier Sihle Zikalala and his executive had gone to meet with King Goodwill Zwelithini. 

Mshengu was responding to Educators Union of South Africa (EUSA), which made the call for teachers to be allowed to carry guns to schools following a murder of 48-year-old teacher Sibonakaliso Nyawose at Masuku Primary School in Folweni, south of Durban, on Tuesday. A video on social media showed another teacher, Ajibabi Sunday, being attacked by a learner at Luthayi High School in Hammarsdale outside Durban. 

Mshengu said EUSA’s suggestion would complicate things. 

“Our view is that we need to do extraordinary things as communities because what happened in school is a reflection of what happened in our communities.

“I was in Sahlumbe (in Estcourt) two days ago and I realised that the fight there among learners resembles the faction fights that are happening in the area,” he said. 

He said he had commissioned a team that would produce a plan within two weeks on how school security features could be installed or upgraded. 

“We are looking at various things such as fencing our schools so that there is only one gate and we put a  guard at the gate so that we are able to know who is coming in and who is going out and what that person is carrying,” he said.

However, he raised concerns about lack of funds to provide security as the country was battling with its finances. 

“But we are faced with a situation which we have to deal with in order to protect the environment of teaching and learning. 

“So within two weeks we will be taking that plan to the provincial cabinet and hopefully we will get money and we will be calling for national government to assist us,” he said.

The King also raised concerns about violence in schools and called for Mshengu to organise  a meeting with all education stakeholders, including himself (the King), to find a solution. 

“This meeting should be held during school holidays so that it won’t disturb teaching and learning.

“I hope we are going to be able to work together in order to find solutions to this,” he said. 

Zikalala said Nyawose would be buried on Monday. 

Political Bureau